BEREA, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University men's basketball team dropped an Ohio Athletic Conference contest to the visiting Wilmington College Quakers by a score of 88-81 in the 33rd Annual Al Sirot Grotto Game inside the Rudolph Ursprung Gymnasium inside the Lou Higgins Center. Partial gate proceeds for the game go to benefit the Grotto's longtime philanthropy of helping children with cereral palsy.
BW (14-7, 8-6 OAC) was led by senior forward Kyle Nader (Vermilion), who tallied a career-high 18 points and team-high-tying eight rebounds. Following the game and for his efforts, Nader received the Grotto BW Most Outstanding Player Award. In addition to Nader, sophomore guard Luke Schaefer (Medina) also scored 18 and made 7-of-9 field goal attempts, senior two-time All-OAC and two-time Academic All-OAC guard Jay Battle (Gahanna Lincoln) had 16 points and jumped to No.-17 on the All-Time BW Career Scoring List/ 1,000-Point Club, and junior Academic All-OAC guard Michael Quiring (Brunswick) had 13 points and three assists.
Wilmington (14-6, 10-4 OAC) was led by junior guard DaeShawn Jackson with a game-high 19 points. In addition, sophomore forward Colin Myers contributed 17, freshman guard Jeffrey Mansfield had 14 and senior guards Will Patrick and Kevin Lewis each had 11.
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the first four minutes to get the game started. The Quakers responded with an 11-4 run to tie the game up at 13 with 11:52 left in the first. The teams traded the lead six times and tied three times over the next seven minutes, with the final tie of the half coming at 25. Nader broke the tie with a top of the key three-pointer, assisted by junior forward Tyler Colombo (Strasburg/Tuscarawas Central Catholic) , sparking a 9-6 run for the Yellow Jackets and a 34-31 halftime advantage.
Scoring the first seven points of the second half, Wilmington established momentum early and opened the half with a 28-13 run over the first nine minutes. With the score at 59-47, BW battled back with a 17-9 run to decrease the Quaker lead to 68-64 with 5:41 left in regulation. The Yellow Jackets cut the lead to four once more, but timely plays from Wilmington held BW at bay. The Quakers closed the second half with a 20-17 run, sealing the 88-81 victory.
This Wednesday, Feb. 6, the BW men are back in action when they host OAC and Cleveland cross-town rival John Carroll University at 7 p.m. on CoSIDA Fall Sports Academic All-America Night.
At halftime, BW will honor its four fall sport CoSIDA Google Cloud Division III Academic All-America student-athletes: soccer standouts senior forward Rachel Bender (Massillon Jackson) and junior forward Danny Ruple (Berea Midpark) and football standout junior offensive lineman Ryan Sympson (North Lima South Range) and junior safety/ outside linebacker Kyle Kelly (Rocky River).