WILMINGTON - It was a long, long day for Heidelberg. It included a bus breaking down, a three-hour layover in the Columbus area, and very little warmup before the players had to compete at Wilmington. The game's start was pushed back two hours.
But a 73-71 win over the Quakers made it all worth it.
"The bus can break down every single time," Heidelberg coach Anthony Gholson said, "if we win every time."
It was Heidelberg's first Ohio Athletic Conference win in five tries, and each of HU's starters played a major role in the win.
Chief among them was senior guard Dane Givner, who had 13 points, 10 rebounds, and what turned out to be a game-saving foul just before regulation ended.
With Heidelberg leading by two, Wilmington's Malcom Heard was going for a layup, but Givner was able to foul him and divert the shot with five-tenths of a second remaining. And while Heard had 13 points, three blocks and three steals, he's was a 56 percent free throw shooter.
Heidelberg 73, Wilmington 71
Heidelberg (5-5, 1-4): Jackson Blue 4-3-11; Nate Davis 7-3-17; Quintin Aden Jr. 3-2-10; Dane Givner 5-2-13; Ishaam Smith Jr. 5-0-14; Mike Petrie 2-0-5; Lee Renner 0-0-0; Jack Hart 0-0-0; Josh Pollner 0-0-0; Doug Waldmannstetter 1-0-3. Totals: 27-11-73.
Wilmington (4-7, 1-4): Malcolm Heard II 6-1-13; Brandon Candella 5-1-15; Miles Bankston 2-0-4; Dwight Johnson 4-0-9; Klarke Ransome 5-4-16; Tre Stennett 0-0-0; Jordan Berlin 2-1-6; Taylor Wellman 0-0-0; Ben Vonderhaar 3-0-6; Tim Pfeiffer 1-0-2; Ethan Fite 0-0-0; Ben McGriff 0-0-0; Christian Patterson 0-0-0. Totals: 28-7-71.
Halftime: Heidelberg, 39-37.
Field goals: Heidelberg 27-48; Wilmington 28-56.
3-point goals: Heidelberg 8-18 (Smith Jr. 4); Wilmington 8-16 (Ransome 4).
Foul shots: Heidelberg 11-15; Wilmington 7-15.
Rebounds: Heidelberg 29 (Givner 10); Wilmington 25 (Candella 7).
Turnovers: Heidelberg 20; Wilmington 15.
Assists: Heidelberg 11 (Aden Jr. 2, Givner, Smith Jr. 2, Waldmannstetter 2); Wilmington 13 (Johnson 4).
"(Heard) was about to make a layup," Gholson said. "It was a great foul."
And sure enough, Heard missed the first free throw, forcing him to miss the second. Heidelberg got the ball, and the game.
Gholson said Givner was a big reason why.
"He stepped up in the second half and made some good shots," Gholson said.
All of Heidelberg's starters scored in double digits. Nate Davis, who played 39 minutes, finished with a team-high 17 points to go with six rebounds and three blocks.
"Nate's gonna be Nate," Gholson said. "He's gonna rebound, block shots; he's gonna do it all. I don't think anyone can stop him at this level."
Also scoring in double digits for Heidelberg were Jackson Blue (11 points, 5 rebounds), Quintin Aden (10 points) and Ishaam Smith (14 points).
For Wilmington (4-7, 1-4), Klarke Ransome had 16 points, with Brandon Candella registering 15 points.
It was a big win for HU (5-5), which will not play another OAC game until Jan. 5.
Gholson said he was encouraged that his team shot 11-15 from the stripe, a 73.3 percentage. Foul shooting has been an issue for the Princes so far.
"It was amazing; we played the top four teams [in the league]," he said. "If we shot 73 percent from the line [for the season], we'd be 9-1 right now. Now the kids believe they can win."