For the first 11 minutes of Monday night's game between Tiffin University and Ohio State-Mansfield, Dragons' guard Joe Graessle didn't attempt a 3.
Odd for someone who launched 252 shots from deep last year.
"I tried to bring a little more of the arsenal out," said Graessle, who had two slam dunks Monday, something that hasn't been seen in his first two seasons. "I tried to work on this summer, really just trying to expand my game more than the 3-ball. My first first two years, I think teams knew me as a 3-point shooter, and I want to come out and prove I'm more of a player."
But even if Graessle wants to change the perception of his game, the reality is he still has an outstanding long range jumper, and when he starts hitting, look out.
That was the case against the Cougars. After not attempting a trey for 11 minutes, Graessle started shooting, and making. He set a school record with nine 3-pointers, as the Dragons opened their home slate with a 117-56 thrashing over Ohio State-Mansfield.
"It's a very good feeling as a player when you start to get going," Graessle said. "Once the hoop starts looking like an ocean, you can pretty much throw anything in there."
|Tiffin University 117,|
|OSU-Mansfield (0-3): Ryan Carper 6-5-17; Tevin Brown 2-2-7; Delvonta Cheathem 4-0-8; Trayce Prather 3-2-8; Osikena Okolo 0-0-0; Caleb Lambert 1-0-2; Jovonte Myers 4-1-11; Tevin Rey 1-1-3. Totals: 21-11-56.|
|Tiffin (2-2): Eric Roby 5-3-13; Michael Bouley 4-0-8; Mike Boan 5-0-10; Cody Dennison 3-0-9; Joe Graessle 16-2-43; Isaiah Twine 4-1-9; Mike Brown 1-0-2; Sarwan Khan 0-3-3; Brandon Sackey 0-0-0; Mohamed Rage 0-0-0; Andrew Bendolph 4-1-11; Jonathan Sutherlin 0-0-0; Khaleal McCormick 3-2-9. Totals: 45-12-117.|
|Halftime: Tiffin University, 57-28.|
|Field goals: OSU-Mansfield 21-60; Tiffin 45-82.|
|3-point goals: OSU-Mansfield 3-20 (Myers 2-8, Brown 1-3, Cheathem 0-5, Carper 0-1, Prather 0-1, Lambert 0-1, Rey 0-1); Tiffin 15-27 (Graessle 9-12, Dennison 3-7, Bendolph 2-2, McCormick 1-3, Twine 0-2, Brown 0-1).|
|Foul shots: OSU-Mansfield 11-19; Tiffin 12-18.|
|Rebounds: OSU-Mansfield 31 (Prather 8, Carper 5, Cheathem 4); Tiffin 53 (Roby 8, Boan 6, Brown 6).|
|Turnovers: OSU-Mansfield 21; Tiffin 14.|
|Assists: OSU-Mansfield 11 (Carper 4, Cheathem 2, Okolo 2); Tiffin 32 (Brown 7, Dennison 6, Boan 5).|
Graessle made 9 of 12 3-pointers, and finished with 43 points. For a time in the second half, he was outscoring the entire Cougars' team.
"He needed that; we all needed that," said Dragons coach John Hill after the Dragons improved to 2-2 this season. "We've shot so poorly in two of our first three games."
And it wasn't just Graessle who shot well (16 of 23). The Dragons, playing in front of a boisterous cheering section, shot extremely well, making 45 of 82 shots. Graessle was one of four players to score in double digits.
Eric Roby had 13 points and eight rebounds, while Mike Boan, a junior transfer from Division I Wright State, had 10 points and six rebounds. Andrew Bendolph, coming off the bench, had 11 points.
It also was a big night for Cody Dennison, one of just two seniors on the roster, who was making his first start. Dennison, a point guard who sat behind Karl Finley a year ago and is coming off a knee injury, had nine points, six assists and five rebounds.
"Last year, I realized pretty quick that Karl was gonna run the show," Dennison said. "I tried to keep a good attitude and hopefully this is gonna be my year to lead this team and get as many minutes as I can."
The Cougars (0-3) were led by Ryan Carper, who had 17 points.