MBB: Berg storms past Golden Tornadoes

Photo courtesy of Defiance Sports Information
Photo courtesy of Defiance Sports Information

DEFIANCE -- The Heidelberg University men's basketball team shook off a loss on day one of the Defiance Purple and Gold Tournament and responded emphatically with a 93-87 win over Geneva College -- their highest scoring game of the season.

The Student Princes (4-7) were led by Myron Prewitt who re-found his form by registering his eighth double-double of the season with 25 points and 13 rebounds.

Phariz Watkins netted 17 points, including a 6-of-6 performance from the free throw line. Josh Dixon contributed 16 points and seven rebounds, while Dylan Woods cashed in 11 points and three helpers.

The Berg led coast to coast quickly establishing their control on the game with a 9-2 start inside the first five minutes of the game. The quick run was kick-started by four points by Phariz Watkins and capped off on a Tayte Lentz 3-pointer.

The Golden Tornadoes (5-6) responded by closing the gap to two, but Heidelberg found their rhythm and built out a 13 point lead over the next three minutes of game action. The quality offense by the Berg continued as a Josh Dixon layup with 5:58 remaining in the first half opened up their largest lead of the game thus far at 36-18.

After exchanging buckets with Geneva, Heidelberg capped off their dominant first half with a deep 3-ball by Davey Hipp with just eight seconds remaining in the period. The Student Princes carried a 49-34 lead into the break behind a 52.6% shooting performance.

After Geneva registered the first two buckets of the second half, Heidelberg exploded for a 13-0 run and built their largest lead of the game at 62-39. Prewitt connected on two of his five 3-pointers to lead the run.

The Golden Tornadoes slowly chipped into that lead, but the Berg again responded on a critical 18-8 run of their own to carry the game back out to a 22 point lead. Tayte Lentz capped the run with another 3-ball. The lead proved to be too much for Geneva's spirited comeback, as Heidelberg eventually emerged with the six point victory.

Over the game, the Student Princes connected on 73% of their free throws, including a crucial 5-of-6 with under a minute left. The effort -- buoyed by Watkins' 4-for-4 -- all but ended the Geneva comeback late on.

Heidelberg also dominated the boards, hauling down 43, as opposed to Geneva's 37. More importantly, Heidelberg turned 12 offensive rebounds into 17 second-chance points, while Geneva only mustered 10 second-chance points.

The Student Princes swiped 11 steals as a team. The great defense was aided by a game-high four from Dixon, while Watkins and Jimmy Hanley each nabbed two a piece. Hanley also registered the lone block for the Berg defense on the day.

After scoring a combined 29 points, recording 11 rebounds, and five steals over the two-day Purple and Gold Tournament, Josh Dixon was named to the All-Tournament team for his efforts.

Heidelberg will return to OAC play after the new year on the road at Baldwin Wallace University for a 7 p.m. tip on January 2.