Wabash versus DePauw is always a trilling matchup no matter what court, field, or pool they are in. Wednesday night at Chadwick Court on Mac Petty Floor was no different in the Little Giants' thrilling 86-80 win in overtime.
"It was a really gutsy performance," coach Kyle Brumett said. "You know they will make a run and our shooting in the first half was unbelievable. I was prepared to have a few offensive struggles in the second half."
The biggest story of the game was freshman Colten Garland who scored a career-best 37 points to tie for the 20th-best single-game effort in Wabash basketball history. Garland tied the Wabash record for most number of 3-pointers made in a game with nine. He finished the game 9-for-10 from behind the arc and 12-of-17 from the field.
"I was confident coming in because I knew DePauw's defense wasn't their strength," Garland said. "I have had a few good first halves so far this season. The first one felt good and the second one was pure and I was like 'Okay, this might be a good night for shooting.'"
The Little Giants were on fire in the first half, shooting an astonishing 9-for-11 from behind the arc. Garland was 5-of-5 and sophomore Duncan Roy hit 3-of-3 from deep range. Sophomore Ben Stachowski also hit one triple in the first half. All of these long balls helped Wabash (8-8, 4-5 NCAC) move out to a 31-13 lead at the 10:55 mark of the first half.
"I know we have guys that can shoot," Garland said. "It really helps knowing that we have guys like Duncan (Roy) and Ben (Stachowski) and several other guys that can step out and hit threes."
Two straight threes by DePauw's Luke Lattner cut the lead down to 13 and by the end of the half DePauw (9-7, 5-4 NCAC) trimmed the lead to 47-37 at the half.
Wabash had nine turnovers in the game, a few of them were unforced though which led to 14 points for DePauw off of turnovers.
"It's the unforced turnovers that we have to get ourselves away from," Brumett said. "We turned it over three times around half court and that really fueled their comeback."
Wabash held off the Tigers for as long as possible in the second half, but DePauw battled back and Lattner hit two free throws to tie it at 66 with 21 seconds left to force the overtime.
Garland took over again in the extra period. After DePauw hit an opening jumper, Garland hit a jumper of his own to tie it. Garland then hit two free throws and thirty seconds later knocked down a shot from behind the arc.
DePauw took the lead with 3:04 left in the game for the last time on a layup but Garland hit a three a few seconds later to take the lead back for good. Garland scored 15 of the Little Giants' 20 overtime points on 4-of-4 shooting and 4-for-4 from the line. Freshman Harry Hallstrom added four points in overtime and lone senior CJ McMann added a free throw.
Logan White scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Little Giants, as well.
"Colten was tired," Brumett said. "But then before overtime we had a break and both teams called timeouts and he had more rest in overtime than he did in the second half. There wasn't anything a whole lot better that I could have drawn up than him winning the game."
Sophomore Dalton Vachon came off the bench and played solid defense inside as did sophomore Logan White and Hallstrom only allowing 28 points in the paint to a much more experienced team.
Chadwick was packed for the game and both Brumett and Garland felt that was instrumental in the win over DePauw.
"I played in front of a lot of really big crowds in high school but today with everything that went in, they just blew up and you can't help but to feed off of it really," Garland said.
"It was outstanding," Brumett said. "We are trying to improve and put a good product on the floor. We need them every game and I know they had fun. We are playing for them and we are trying to grow into what so many of our sports are."
Wabash will travel to Wooster Saturday for a 2 p.m. tipoff.