Wilmington Defense Smothers Wabash• November 21, 2008
Guards Andrew Gilman and Chase Haltom hit three-pointers in the opening minutes to stake the Wabash basketball team to an early 6-3 lead, but not much else went right for the Little Giants in a 69-50 season-opening loss to Wilmington in the Little Giant Tipoff Classic.
Wabash will meet DePauw University in the tournament’s consolation game on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
Franklin College, a winner over DePauw in the opening round, will clash with Wilmington in the championship game at 3:00 p.m.
A rash of first-half turnovers that came in bunches — 21 in all — doomed the Little Giants. Wilmington played a sound opening half, hitting 50 percent of its shots, and led 37-22 at the break. Wabash closed to within 11 in the second half, but another 13 turnovers kept the Little Giants from mounting a serious challenge.
Wilmington’s speed, athleticism, and defense was on full display. The guests held Wabash to just six field goals in each half, and Wabash would shoot just 29 percent for the game (12-42). Wabash had nearly three times as many turnovers (34) as field goals (12) in the contest.
Junior forward Aaron Brock (right) scored 16 points with eight rebounds to pace the Little Giants, but he also had seven turnovers. Sophomore forward Wes Smith missed all seven of his field goals, turned the ball over nine times, and scored just five points. Junior guard Chase Haltom shot the ball well (4-7 FG, 3-5 three-pointers), but he too had seven miscues.
Twenty players saw court time for Wilmington, which emptied the bench down the stretch. The Quakers were balanced in scoring with five players scoring eight or more points, including the 14-point effort by 6-8 forward Brandon Rogers and the dozen points from R.J. Brown, who hit 5-of-6 field goals.
Wabash rookies AZ Zinnerman (two rebounds), Brian Shelbourne (two rebounds), Seth Bawel (six points, two rebounds), and Nick Curosh (two points, three rebounds) all earned playing time.