Wabash College gutted out a victory over North Coast Athletic Conference rival Kenyon 74-69 on Saturday. The Little Giants were able to comeback from an early second half deficit for the victory on Chadwick Court.
Wabash played short-handed without the services of three players including front-line players Chance McCorkle and Gavin Schippert and guard Kayden Beatty due to injury. However, the Little Giants received a big lift from the play of Champ McCorkle.
McCorkle, who had recently been playing less than 20 minutes per game off the bench, played just over 38 minutes and proved to be the lift the Little Giants needed. The post player was perfect from the field on six shot attempts and finished the game with 16 points and six rebounds.
Wabash coach Kyle Brummett complimented McCorkle after the game.
“Champ played a lot of minutes and I kept checking on him if he needed a minute and he kept saying he was okay,” Brummett said. “Today Champ gave us what we needed and we needed that.”
McCorkle said he was ready to play more minutes before the game because of the injured players.
“I knew I would get more minutes today,” McCorkle said. “I had played games early in the season where I got more minutes, but I am happy I was able to contribute today.”
Wabash took the early lead in the game and retained it throughout the first half. The Little Giants led the Owls 39-35 at the half.
Both teams shot well in the first 20 minutes as the Little Giants 57-percent from the field and Kenyon shot 61-percent including 4-of-5 from behind the arch.
Early in the second half the Owls came out hitting shots and Wabash went cold. Kenyon went on a 12-2 run early and eventually led 51-43 with 15:53 left in the game.
Wabash went cold and only shot 33 percent in the final half of play. The Little Giants only connected on just 3-of-11 second three-point tries.
Wabash regained the lead for good with 12:38 left in the game when Edreece Redmond scored an old fashioned three-point play when fouled on a layup.
Wabash’s Sam Comer gave his team an ironman performance also. The guard had missed the last two games due to an injury suffered at DePauw. Returning back to the starting lineup on Saturday, Comer scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds while playing 36 minutes.
Freshman Josh Whack was also instrumental in the win Brummett said. Whack has seen extended minutes with the injury to Comer. Whack scored eight points.
“I was so proud how Josh played and has been playing since Sam went down,” Brummett said. “He helped give us a chance to keep the train rolling.”
Wabash benefitted from a good day at the charity stripe. The Little Giants connected on 23-of-31 charity attempts. Kenyon recorded five points on just nine attempts.
“We pride ourselves in getting the free throw line,” Brummett said. “Today we were able to take to the rim and we got fouled.”
Wabash will play arch-rival DePauw at home on Wednesday. With NCAC leader Wooster suffering a defeat on Saturday, the Little Giants find themselves one-half game out of first place. A win Wednesday against the Tigers would be huge if Wabash is to repeat as regular season champions.
“Wednesday is a huge game,” McCorkle said. “They got us at their place two weeks ago and now we need to get a little revenge. We will have a big crowd and it will be fun.”
“It is a big week for us with the DePauw game,” Brummett said. “Wednesday is going to be a lot of fun.”
Wedneday’s game against DePauw will tip off at 7 p.m with an expectation of a large and loud crowd.
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