Tampa, Fla. – DePauw fell cold at times but heated up at other times and found enough consistency to win their eight consecutive Tampa Bay Shootout Championship with a 70-69 win over SUNY Canton on Friday.
DePauw's third straight win pushes them over .500 at 6-5, while Canton drops under .500 at 5-6. It is the first time DePauw has been over .500 since the end of the 2014-15 season.
Luke Lattner led the Tigers with 12 points, while John Starkey and Nate Jahn each added 10 points. James Clarke and David Vogel scored nine points, and Jack VandeMerkt scored eight and pulled down 15 rebounds.
It was a slow start for both teams as DePauw held a slight 7-4 advantage just 6:30 into the game. DePauw's tenacity on the offensive glass gave them their first seven points.
However, DePauw raised their field goal percentage significantly to conclude the first half, reaching 47 percent (16-of-34) and taking a 36-22 lead.
Their lead reached as high as 17 in the second half with 14:45 remaining in the game, but then SUNY Canton got out of their slump. They made a big run to close the game, narrowing the gap from 15 with 5:30 remaining to one point with 1:06 left thanks to a 16-2 run.
In the final minute, Lattner missed on a jump shot, giving SUNY Canton a chance to win the game, but Sam Annorh missed a 3-pointer with seven seconds remaining. VandeMerkt grabbed the rebound and missed a free throw on the other end but with four seconds remaining SUNY Canton could not get off a reasonable shot in time.
The Tigers outrebounded SUNY Canton 40-35 and finished with 13 second chance points. The Tigers' bench also outscored SUNY Canton's 31-7.
DePauw returns home Tuesday to face Allegheny and will look to improve their 2-2 North Coast Athletic Conference record.
This is the 11th year of the Tampa Bay Shootout. After falling in the championship game the first three years, the Tigers have won the championship every year since.
Jahn was named the Tournament MVP. Jahn averaged 6.5 points, three assists and three rebounds per game. Vogel joined him on the All-Tournament Team, averaging 10 ppg off the bench.