BEREA - A little larceny on the basketball floor led Baldwin-Wallace to a home-opening, 95-82 victory Thursday against crosstown rival Case Western Reserve.
The Yellow Jackets had 14 steals in handing Case just its second loss of the season against five wins. B-W (2-3) snapped a three-game losing skid after opening the season at the Rochester Holiday Inn Airport Tournament last week.
"We`ve been on the road a couple weeks," said Steve Bankson, entering his 28th season as B-W`s head coach. "When you lose three games, it`s always nice to get home. We had very balanced scoring. (Case) came in here 5-1. We knew they would be a handful."
Bankson won his 410th game as coach of the Jackets and is now just nine away from 700 overall in 44 years of coaching.
All five starters finished in double figures for the Yellow Jackets, led by junior Dennis Santiago`s 27 points. Santiago and his back-court mates - seniors Tyler Sekerak and Brendan Schuler - pestered the daylights out of the Spartans on the perimeter. Sekarak had half of B-W`s steals and helped cause 20 Case turnovers. Sekarek and Schuler combined for 30 points.
"We have good chemistry," said Santiago, who made seven of eight free throws down the stretch to ice the game. "We`ve been playing together a couple years now. We know what to expect out of each other."
Kyle Brown, a 6-foot-4 sophomore from Strongsville who transferred to Baldwin-Wallace from Hillsdale at the start of the school year, had 18 points. Front-court twin Andrew Bene added 16. Bene, a 6-6 junior, added 11 rebounds and five blocked shots to his stat sheet to help ease the loss of graduated All-American and OAC Player of the Year Tori Davis, who played his high school ball at Open Door.
"I never really thought I`d be playing at B-W," said Brown. "But I`m happy I am. I don`t really have to worry about scoring. Someone else can pick us up."
Baldwin-Wallace withstood every Case run. The Jackets saw an early 16-9 lead erased when they went over five minutes without scoring in the first half but consecutive 3-pointers by Santiago and Brown, then another by Santiago righted the ship to provide B-W with a 42-30 halftime advantage. In the second half, Case closed to within 66-63 with 9:20 to play when Sekerak first scored off a batted rebound and followed with a driving lay-in and free throw to widen the margin to 71-63 with 8:32 to play.
"The credit goes to Baldwin-Wallace," Case coach Sean McDonnell said. "You can look at it and think we beat ourselves but they made the plays when they needed to. They were the ones who built the lead. We have to play perfectly to comeback. That`s hard to do especially on the road against a good club."
"We hadn`t been moving the ball well enough," Bankson said of the 1-3 start. "I thought we moved it better (Thursday). We had five kids in double figures.
"We knew they`d make a run. (Case) mixed their defenses a little bit and our zone helped us. (Tyler) stepped in there a number of times and got our fast break going. We got a lot of transition baskets. It`s the most we`ve had this year. That was real good."
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
B-W 95, Case 82
CASE (82): Kevin Herring 6-2-15, Steve Young 1-3-5, Brandon Bradford 0-0-0, Anthony Durr 0-2-2, Mason Conrad 7-4-18, Greg Beretta 0-2-2, Colin Mullholland 4-2 13, Rob Skuski 7-0-14, Alex Hildebrandt 0-0-0, Brad Sutton 6-0-13. Totals 31-15-82.
BALDWIN-WALLACE (95): Brendan Schuler 5-5-16, Dennis Santiago 8-7-27, Tyler Sekerak 6-1-14, Andrew Bene 5-6-16, Kyle Brown 6-2-18, Jake Cayton 0-0-0, Zane Meeder 0-0-0, Louis Tumblin 0-0-0, Kyle Rockwell 0-2-2, Paul Glass 1-0-2, Jeff Cannan 0-0-0. Totals 31-23-95.
Case W ReserveÂ Â Â Â Â Â 35Â Â Â 47Â Â Â - Â Â Â 82
Baldwin-WallaceÂ Â Â Â Â Â 47Â Â Â 48Â Â Â - Â Â Â 95
Three-point goals: Case 5-20 (Mullholland 3, Herring, Sutton). Baldwin-Wallace 10-22 (Santiago 4, Brown 4, Schuler, Sekerak). Field Goals: Case 31-65 (48 percent). Baldwin-Wallace 31-66 (47 percent). Free Throws: Case 15-17 (88 percent). Baldwin-Wallace 23-30 (77 percent). Rebounds: Case 41 (Conrad 10), Baldwin-Wallace 34 (Bene 11).
Turnovers: Case 20, Baldwin Wallace 12. Assists: Case 18 (Young 6). Baldwin-Wallace 17 (Schuler 8). Steals: Case 2, Baldwin-Wallace 14 (Sekarek 7).
Fouls: Case 21, Baldwin-Wallace 13. Technical Foul: Schuler. Fouled Out: Mullholland.