Nationally-ranked Little Giants Head To Pennsylvania

by Brent Harris

January 14, 2011

The basketball team will not be the only nationally-ranked Wabash program traveling to Pennsylvania for competition this week. The Little Giant wrestling team entered the DIII national rankings this week just prior to their trip to the Budd Whitehill National Duals at Lycoming College in Williamsport. The seventh-ranked Wabash basketball team heads to Allegheny College at Meadville, PA.

The Little Giant wrestlers moved into the Brute/adidas National Wrestling Coaches Association poll for the first time this season at number 28 thanks to a 4-0 finish last weekend at the Chuck Porter Duals at Knox College. Jake Strausbaugh, Jake Moore, and Greg Rhoads each finished with 4-0 individual marks to help Wabash remain perfect for the day. 

Wabash is 4-1 on the season, with the team's only dual loss coming against nationally-ranked Division I opponent Indiana University. Strausbaugh and Rhoads (left) are both listed on the watch list at their respective weight classes. Strausbaugh enters the weekend with a 25-5 record at 149 pounds. Rhoads is 20-9 at 184 pounds.

The Little Giants are seeded seventh in the 16-team event at Lycoming, which begins Friday morning at 9 a.m. Wabash will compete at 10:30 a.m. against RIT in the opening round of the duals tournament.

The Wabash basketball team will try to rebound from a loss for the first time this season when the Little Giants continue North Coast Athletic Conference action Saturday afternoon at Allegheny. Wabash remained at number seven in the weekly poll despite a 67-65 home loss to number-one ranked Wooster last Saturday.

The battle between the two unbeaten teams was a classic that was decided in the final seconds on a buzzer-beating three-point shot by Wabash that just missed going in the basket. Wabash overcame a 14-point deficit in the second half before closing the gap to one point with less than 10 seconds remaining in the game.

Wes Smith (right) will lead his Wabash team to Meadville as the leading scorer in the conference, averaging 22.9 points a contest. He scored 20 points in the Little Giants' 89-56 home win over Allegheny earlier in the season. Freshman Pete Nicksic equalled his career-best effort with 13 points in that contest, and recorded his first career double-double by adding 11 rebounds with seven coming on the offensive end of the floor. Wabash dished out a season-high 17 assists, led by seven from junior guard Brian Shelbourne.

Tipoff between Wabash and Allegheny is at 1 p.m. at the Wise Center. 

The Wabash swimming and diving team just missed a place in the national polls this week, receiving 12 points in this week's TYR/College Swimming Coaches Association of America Division III Swimming Top-25 poll. The Little Giants traveled to St. Louis on Wednesday, falling 124-75 to Washington-St. Louis in dual meet action. David Birrer, David Phillips, and Evan Rhinesmith (left) each posted individual victories in that meet. The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Charles Williams, Alex Beck, Birrer, and Phillips also took home first place.

The Little Giants are back in the water Saturday afternoon with a 1 p.m. dual meet at the University of Indianapolis.


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