Men's Basketball falls to Defiance, 69-64

Men's Basketball falls to Defiance, 69-64

By: Andrew Korba

ADA -- Junior Branden Rushton scored 15 points and sophomore Isaiah Roux added 10 points off the bench to lead the Ohio Northern men's basketball team in a 69-64 loss to area rival Defiance on Tuesday night at the ONU Sports Center.

Northern's record now stands at 2-1, while Defiance improves to 1-2.

Sophomore Adam Bair added 10 points for the Polar Bears.

Logan Wolfrum led the Yellow Jackets with a game high 20 points, while Ryan Hicks scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

Northern led 59-42 after a layup by Roux with 9:42 left and was up 63-50 with 7:00 remaining in the game.

But Defiance would score 15 unanswered points and end the game on a 19-1 run to register the win.

"Defiance is a good team and they got on a roll," ONU head coach Kevin Byrne said. "It just snowballed on us. We did a lot of good things and for 33 minutes it looked good and we were right where we wanted to be. But we will learn from it and get back after it on Saturday."

The first half was very tight throughout, as the lead changed hand seven times and the score was tied six.

The Polar Bears used a 7-0 run to open up a 28-24 lead with 4:25 to play in the first half.

Defiance would cut the Northern lead to 33-32, but ONU finished the first half on a 6-0 run, capped off on a jumper from Rushton in the closing seconds.

After the Yellow Jackets scored to open the second half, the Polar Bears used a 11-2 run to open up a 50-38 lead.

Bair had six points during the run, Roux added three and junior Jared Horstman scored two points.

The Polar Bears would continue to extend their lead, and a free throw from sophomore Jordan Martin gave ONU a 57-40 lead with 10:15 to play.

The Yellow Jackets came storming back and used runs of 8-2 and 15-0 to grab a 65-63 lead with 2:37 left.

Senior Taylor Kuhlman would split a pair of free throws to trim the Defiance lead to 65-64 with just over two minutes to play.

The Yellow Jackets would push the lead back to 67-64 on a layup by Hicks.

Wolfrum then sunk two free throws to put the Yellow Jackets up 69-64 with 11 seconds remaining.

The Polar Bears were 25-of-50 (50.0 percent) from the field, but were just 9-of-17 (52.9 percent) from the free throw line.

Defiance shot 21-of-44 (47.7 percent) from the field, but was 20-of-25 (80.0 percent) from the charity stripe.

Northern won the rebounding battle by a 28-26 margin and had 13 turnovers compared to 14 for the Yellow Jackets.

ONU also got 27 points from their bench, while the Yellow Jackets got 14.

Ohio Northern will be in action again on Saturday when they take part in the Alma (Mich.) Thanksgiving Classic at 7 pm against Alma (Mich.)