Wabash battled back from an 18-point second half deficit but came up short in a 79-74 North Coast Athletic Conference basketball road loss at Wooster Saturday afternoon.
The Little Giants (5-3, 1-1 NCAC) and Scots (5-1, 3-0 NCAC) were tied at 32-32 at halftime before Wooster took advantage of six turnovers in the span of six minutes to claim a 56-38 lead midway through the final period. Wabash committed 17 turnovers in the game leading to 11 total points for the host Scots.
Three free throws by Justin Hensley with 5:37 remaining in the contest trimmed the Wooster lead to 66-52. Ahmoni Jones scored on a driving layup prior to a turnover by the Scots and quick score from Kellen Schreiber to cut the lead to nine points with 4:03 left to play. An offensive rebound by Jones and a put-back basket drew the Little Giants to within seven points before Wooster answered with a jumper from Dontae Williams with less than three minutes on the game clock.
Jack Davidson, limited to five points in the first half, scored three of his 13 total points on a jumper with 1:39 remaining to make it a six-point game at 69-63. Wooster regained the eight-point advantage on a basket from Danyon Hempy before three more Hensley free throws brought Wabash back to within five points at 71-66 with less than a minute remaining in the game.
Free throws put Wooster back in front by seven points before a pair of three-point baskets from Watson answered two more free throws for the Scots to make it a three-point game with four second left to play. A quick foul on the ensuing in-bound pass and free throws from Khaylen Mahdi provided the five-point final differential.
Wabash shot 24-of-57 from the field for the game for 42.1 percent and hit 8-of-22 three-point attempts for 36.4 percent. The Little Giants finished 18-of-19 from the free throw line for 94.7 percent. Wooster connected on 24-of-60 shots from the field (41.7 percent) and 9-of-31 from three-point range (29 percent). The Scots shot 20-of-24 from the free throw line (83.3 percent.
Watson paced Wabash offensively with 14 points. Davidson added 13 points and eight assists. Schreiber scored 11 points. Jones picked up eight points and a team-high nine rebounds for the Little Giants.
Hempy was one of four Scots to score in double figures, leading the team with 21 points. Williams finished with 19 points. Trenton Tipton scored 12 points and Keonn Scott added 11 points.
Wabash will travel to Granville, Ohio on Saturday, December 14 for a 2 p.m. tipoff against the Denison Big Red.