College Basketball

Beaver’s career night paces Little Giants

Sets up finale with Wooster for regular season title


Wabash College men’s basketball has so many different weapons at their disposal. However over the last four games there’s been a particular player that’s risen to the top. That would be senior guard Avery Beaver. Coming into Wabash’s game against Ohio Wesleyan on Wednesday, Beaver had led the Little Giants in scoring the last three games (18 pts, 20 pts, 17 pts) and against the Battling Bishops, Beaver saved his best performance of his career and season. When the final stats were tallied Beaver scored a career high 24 points and dished out a career high 10 assists as Wabash scored a season high 90 points in a 90-76 NCAC win.

The win for the Little Giants is their eighth straight and improves their record to 16-8 (12-3 NCAC).

“I have to give a huge credit to my teammates for those 10 assists,” Beaver said. “They were the ones hitting the shots and being in the right spots for me to hit them. We’ve been really working on our movement and shot making and it all came together for us. This past four-game stretch for me, the coaches have put a lot of trust in me and so have my teammates there too. We have so many guys who can score and I think we’re really starting to come together right now.”

From the opening tip, Wabash grabbed the leader and never surrendered it. They scored the first eight points of the game. Ohio Wesleyan got it as close at 19-16 but the Little Giants took a 41-32 lead into halftime. In the second half, Wabash maintained a 9-13 point lead most of the way with the Bishops getting as close at 51-47 at the 14:41 mark.

Wabash continued to avenge earlier season losses as back on Jan. 10 the Little Giants fell at Ohio Wesleyan 69-65. Coach Kyle Brumett noted how this game was a little different in many ways for his team.

“We just struggled to make shots when we went to their place and that was also kind of a dark time for us,” Brumett said. “We were in the midst of a losing streak and still figuring things out. Now we’re just so much more consistent than where we were back then. When you have two guys score in the 20’s and two more in double-figures, then add two more who had eight. It now sets us up for the biggest game of our season on Saturday.”

Along with Beaver’s 24, Ahmoni Jones scored 21, Vinny Buccilla 11, Gavin Schippert 10, Sam Comer eight, Noah Hupmann eight, Edreece Redmond four, and both Rich  Brooks and Randy Kelly scored two. For the game the Little Giants were 33-66 (50%) from the floor and 11-30 (36.7%) from three while going 13-15 (86.7%) from the foul line. What was a big story for the Little Giants in the win was the rebounding as they out-rebounded Ohio Wesleyan 44-24. Wabash had 17 offensive rebounds and overall Schippert led the team with nine, Buccilla and Jones eight, Comer seven, and Hupmann five.

“Schip got us off to a great start and then Ahmoni and Sam were really good on the defensive glass and those guys were game changers for us. As a team you usually hope that you have 10 offensive rebounds, but we got that total from two guys with Schip and Noah and it was definitely a big key for us in getting the win. Avery is playing with such confidence and his three point percentage has continued to go up. We’re starting to play through him on offense now and those 10 assists really show that. I think Noah has given him an outlet with some lobs at the rim.”

Ohio Wesleyan (10-14, 7-8 NCAC) shot 31-64 (48.4%) from the floor in the loss and 10-26 (38.5%) from three while going 4-7 (57.1%) from the free throw line. Henry Hinkle scored 16 for the Battling Bishops with Jessee Battle adding 13, David Rice 12, and Tony Carter 10.

With the win Wabash and Wooster remained tied atop the NCAC and it will now come down to a winner take all game on Saturday afternoon at Chadwick Court between the Fightin’ Scots and the Little Giants for the top seed in next week’s NCAC Tournament. The matchup has provided plenty of drama over the years and Saturday is sure to add some more into what’s become a great rivalry.

“Wooster is the winning-est school in D3 since 2000,” Brumett said. “I’m very proud of the fact that we’re in their league. Wooster is one of the teams who is a measuring stick for other teams around the country. We’ve been able to have the success against them recently and there’s no question that Saturday is the biggest game of our season. We know how important getting to play here at Chadwick and a win on Saturday sets us up to play the whole thing here. We were pretty happy with how we played when we went over there but now they’ve won 10 straight. It’s going to be a battle and that’s what we want.”

Tip off at Chadwick Court is set for 2 p.m. Saturday.