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Quakers travel to Heidelberg Saturday

January 25, 2013

~ Junior Ben Vonderhaar ~

~ Junior Ben Vonderhaar ~

With a chance to gain retribution for one of the games they felt slipped away during the first swing through the Ohio Athletic Conference slate, Wilmington (9-9 overall, 6-5 OAC) hits the road 3 p.m. Saturday to face Heidelberg (9-9 overall, 4-7 OAC). The Student Princes are on a three-game losing streak. (Game Notes, Live Stats, Video)

“Heidelberg is a super talented, athletic team,” said head coach K.C. Hunt. “We are going to have to go on the road and be 20 guys fighting together, fighting for each other. It’s going to be a key for us to take care of the ball against all of their pressures. I think we are looking forward to getting back to play them for a second time.”

Wilmington built an eight-point lead in the first half, but the Student Princes fought back to take a two-point lead at the break. Then, HC controlled the second half. However, the Fightin’ Quakers had a chance to send the game into overtime, but missed two free throws – the second intentionally – with one second remaining in the 73-71 loss.

A win Saturday, while still early, can help WC keep contact for a double-bye in the OAC conference tournament. Wilmington is three games behind Marietta and Capital for the top two seeds, and is a combined 0-3 against those teams.

Senior Nate Davis is the only player in the OAC, averaging a double-double. He leads the conference in rebounding with 10.6 boards, and is sixth in scoring with 15.7 points. In the win earlier the season, he scored 17 points with six rebounds as the Student Princes had five different players score at least 10 points.

The game pits the top two teams in steals as Wilmington leads the league with 9.22 steals per game and Heidelberg is second with 8.44 steals. Both teams will utilize full-court pressures, and the team that handles it better will have the best chance of winning the game.

In conference action, the Quakers have three players averaging double figures with another player on the cusp. Senior Brandon Candella (West Chester, OH/Lakota West) has upped his scoring averaging to 16.3 points, while junior Malcolm Heard II (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington) is adding 14.5 points. Sophomore Dwight Johnson (Dayton, OH/Jefferson), partially thanks to back-to-back 20-plus point games, is averaging 11.2 in OAC action.

Junior Klarke Ransome (Richwood, OH/North Union) is chipping in with 9.5 points in the 11 league games.