University Heights, Ohio – February 26, 2010 – For the seventh time in the history of the program, the Heidelberg University men’s basketball team will make an appearance in the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament Championship game. No. 5 seeded Heidelberg upended no. 1 seed and host John Carroll University 104-97 to earn a spot in the title game.
Heidelberg, and second-year head coach Anthony Gholson, will be striving for its second OAC Tournament Title overall, joining its title from two seasons ago. The Berg will face Wilmington College at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, February 27.
The win improved Heidelberg to 15-12 overall, while the Blue Streaks close out its season at 20-6.
In the opening half of action John Carroll and Heidelberg battled back and forth early on, with no team leading by more than a basket. The Berg increased its lead to five, 17-12, during a 7-2 run that Josh Calver (Shelby, Ohio / Shelby) had five points. However, JCU answered with five-straight points to knot the game at 17 all with 12:51 left in the half.
JCU utilized an 8-0 run to hold an eight-point advantage, 35-27, and eventually pushed its lead to 11 points, 52-43, with less than three minutes before halftime.
Heidelberg closed out the final 2:53 of the first half outscoring the Blue Streaks 13-4 to tie the game at 56-56 at the intermission. Dane Givner (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Harvest Preparatory) led the Berg during its comeback with seven points, while Jim Smalley (Middleburg Heights, Ohio / Midpark) hit a jumper at the buzzer to knot the score.
Coming out of the gates in the second half, a Calver three-pointer gave Heidelberg a five-point lead, 65-60, after two minutes of action. JCU responded with five-straight points of their own to tie the game.
John Carroll continued to threaten, but the Berg would keep them at bay. Givner had a lay up to build an 87-81 advantage for Heidelberg at the 7:07 mark. Following two ties, with the latter being 91-91, with 4:00 remaining, Calver connected on 1-of-2 from the line and had one from long range to give Heidelberg the lead for good.
For the game, Heidelberg shot 56.5 percent (39-of-69) from the field, while JCU hit a 53.3 clip (32-of-60). Heidelberg held a 38-20 advantage on the glass.
Heidelberg had five players in double figures led by a career-high 30 points from Calver. Included in the mix for Calver was a 5-for-7 showing from long range. Backing Calver was Givner with 19 points. Rounding out the Berg in double figures was Smalley (12), Nate Davis (Dayton, Ohio / Stivers) (11) and Travis Kinn (Alvada, Ohio / New Riegel) (10).
Smalley led the way with eight rebounds and four assists. Davis finished with six boards, while Calver and Givner had four apiece, to go along with three assists apiece.
John Carroll had six players in double figures. Leading the way was Matt Crozier with 16 points and eight rebounds.