WILMINGTON, Ohio – After falling behind early, the fifth-seeded Baldwin Wallace University men's basketball team defeated fourth-seeded Wilmington College by a final of 74-71 in the Ohio Athletic Conference Quarterfinals on Hermann Court inside the Fred Raizk Arena.
BW (18-8) advances to the OAC Tournament Semifinals for the fifth straight year and will play Capital University on Thursday, February 21 at the Capital Center.
The Yellow Jackets are now 4-2 against the Quakers in post-season play and were led by senior two-time All-OAC and two-time Academic All-OAC guard Jay Battle (Gahanna/Lincoln) who marked 19 points, six rebounds and two assists. Junior Academic All-OAC guard Michael Quiring (Brunswick) poured in 13 with three assists while junior forward Tyler Colombo (Strasburg/Tuscarawas Central Catholic) tallied 11. Sophomore guard Luke Schaefer (Medina) contributed with ten and also had a career-high six steals.
Wilmington (17-8) was led by senior guard Will Patrick who had a game-high 21 points and senior forward Andrew Russell scored 10.
The Quakers got on the board first with a three-pointer from Kevin Lewis at 19:01 and BW got their first points off a steal from Schaefer and layup at 18:15. Wilmington responded with a 9-0 run before head coach Tom Heil would call a timeout at 15:09. BW came out of the timeout and went on a 17-8 run that included key plays from Quiring. He got the Yellow Jackets rolling out of the timeout with a steal to a layup and completed an and-one in the midst of the run. BW snagged their first lead of 25-24 after another steal and transition layup from Schaefer at 6:47. The final six minutes were back and forth as the teams tied three times and exchanged the lead seven times. As both squads battled for the lead, neither team would seize the advantage and headed into halftime tied up at 37.
The Quakers scored first with a trey from Jeffrey Mansfield and BW regained the lead with a 4-0 spurt, capped off with a layup from Colombo at 18:55 to bring the score to 41-40. BW extended their lead to 51-46 after a layup from senior guard Kyle Nader (Vermilion) at 14:24. Wilmington would tie the game back up at 51 with a 5-0 run, capped off by a Patrick three at 13:28. The Quakers scored next with a Patrick layup and BW answered with a 12-3 spurt to bring the score to 63-56 at 7:52. Wilmington battled back and tied the game up at 65 at 4:50 with a 9-2 run. The teams would tie at 67 before BW went on a 7-2 run over the next three and a half minutes that led to a crucial old-fashioned three point play by Colombo at 1:04. The Quakers scored on a jump shot with 56 seconds and BW would hold them off in the final possession to seal the 74-71 victory.
The OAC Tournament championship game will be contested on Saturday, February 23 on the campus of the highest remaining seed.