MBB: Student Princes sweep John Carroll

Photos courtesy of Mason Hainey
Photos courtesy of Mason Hainey

TIFFIN -- Even though last week's polar vortex altered the schedule, the Heidelberg University men's basketball team did not have a case of the Mondays -- upending the John Carroll University Blue Streaks, 91-83.  The Student Princes utilized a balanced offense and dominated on the glass en route to the victory.

Myron Prewitt led all players with 26, while Jimmy Hanley (16), Dylan Woods (15), and Josh Dixon (13) all contributed with double-digit scoring.

Prewitt tallied 14 boards, picking up his 14th double-double of the season -- eighth in the nation in that category.  Hanley added seven rebounds.

With the win, Heidelberg (8-13, 6-8) swept the season series with John Carroll (9-12, 5-9) for the first time since the 2007-08 season.

"That's awesome," head coach Andy Bucheit commented about beating JCU for the second time this season. "We talked about it the first time around that our seniors have never beat John Carroll ... they've earned the respect over the year so we had a heightened sense of focus tonight."

After a brief cold spell, Heidelberg called a timeout with the score 14-13. Out of the timeout, the Berg scored the next seven points to kickstart a strong sense of momentum. The highlight of the move was driven by Myron Prewitt. The big man tracked back on defense and blocked a Luke Hippler jumper. He kicked the ball to Dylan Woods who swiftly returned the favor, leading to a Prewitt 3-pointer.

The Berg continued on their way and extended the score back out to their largest of the game thus far at 27-17. The run was capped on another Prewitt layup.

John Carroll (9-12, 5-9) didn't give up and fought back and closed the gap to just one. After that Prewitt layup, the Berg were held scoreless for 5:05 of play. Curt Jacobs finally put an end to the drought on a contested 3-pointer. The bucket seemed to spark the Berg offense back into life as they scored 17 points over the final four minutes. John Carroll closed the first period on a similar tune, scoring 14 over the same time.   

Much like the reverse fixture in University Heights earlier this season, Myron Prewitt used his size under the basket to his advantage over the first 20 minutes of play. Prewitt racked up 19 points and eight rebounds to lead all players in both categories at the break.

Both sides came out looking to prove a point after the halftime break, as JCU closed to within two, Heidelberg poured in three straight 3-pointers to go back ahead by nine. Again, John Carroll seemed to hang around making things difficult for the Berg to firmly pull away.

Throughout the remainder of the game, Heidelberg continued to hold JCU's comeback efforts off, leading by as many as 10 on two occasions. Keeping the Blue Streak offense at bay, the Student Princes closed out the game by keeping their composure.

The Blue Streaks got within four with just under a minute remaining, but Myron Prewitt sealed the game with a powerful dunk on a breakaway. As John Carroll began to launch desperation shot attempts, the Student Princes iced the win with a Jimmy Hanley layup, once again on the break.

The Tricolor dominated the boards with 42 boards opposed to John Carroll's 33. Additionally, the Berg pulled down a surplus of 13 offensive boards. JCU did utilize their seven offensive rebounds efficiently converting to 10 second-chance points, equaling the Berg's second-chance total.

Woods had 15 points on just 5-of-8 shooting, along with five assists.  

JCU was paced by five double-digit scorers -- Luke Hippler and Connor Fitzgerald had 16 each, Sean Flannery added 15, Ryan Berger tallied 14, and James Berger chipped in with 13.  Berger led the Blue Streaks with eight rebounds and nine assists.

"John Carroll is still a really well coached team and a good basketball team, so to sweep them is a testament to our guys continuing to stay the course and build towards the next game and take it one game at a time," said Bucheit.

The Berg will hit the road on Wednesday as they travel to No. 21 Capital University for a 7 p.m. start time. On Saturday, the men will play the backend of a OAC doubleheader as they welcome the University of Mount Union for a 3 p.m. tip off. The women will play Mount Union at 1 p.m. on Saturday.