Lucas Pennington scores a career-high 23 points to lead Men's basketball in 79-75 loss at North Park (Ill.)

Lucas Pennington scores a career-high 23 points to lead Men's basketball in 79-75 loss at North Park (Ill.)

By Tim Glon

CHICAGO, Ill. — Sophomore Lucas Pennington scored a career-high 23 points to lead the Ohio Northern men's basketball team in a 79-75 non-conference loss at North Park (Ill.) on Saturday.

The Polar Bears fall to 4-3, while the Vikings improve to 2-3.

Pennington led four ONU players in double figures in scoring, as junior Branden Rushton scored 15 points and junior Jared Horstman and sophomore Jordan Martin chipped in 12 points each.

North Park's Mark Holmes poured in a game-high 36 points to lead all scorers.

Northern used an 11-2 run late in the first half to turn a 31-31 tie into a 42-33 lead with 1:20 left before intermission.

ONU took a 45-36 lead into halftime.

North Park rallied with an 11-0 run to take a 57-55 lead with 8:38 left in the game.

The hosts scored eight straight points over a 2:42 span late in the game to break a 63-all tie and take a 71-63 lead with just 1:09 left to play.

The Vikings then made 8 of 10 free throws in the final 23 seconds to put the game away.

Rushton made a pair of layups and Pennington nailed a 3-pointer with four seconds left to pull ONU within 76-75.

Northern made 29 of 57 field goal attempts for 50.9 percent and were 6 of 17 from 3-point range for 35.3 percent, while North Park made 28 of 49 field goal attempts for 57.1 percent and were a hot 6 of 11 from beyond the arc for 54.5 percent.

The Vikings won the rebounding battle 31-24.

The Polar Bears will return to action Wednesday night and will begin the Ohio Athletic Conference portion of their schedule with a 7:30 pm contest at Baldwin Wallace.