By: Andrew Korba
MARIETTA — The Ohio Northern men's basketball team dropped a tough road contest 67-61 in overtime to Marietta Wednesday night at Bay Johnson Arena.
The Polar Bears fall to 6-6 overall and 2-3 in the OAC, while the Pioneers improve to 9-3 overall and remain perfect in conference with a 5-0 mark.
Junior Dominique Royal led Northern with 16 points.
The Polar Bears held a 59-54 lead on two Rushton free throws with 1:31 to go.
The Pioneers would score the final five points of the second half, including a game-tying three-pointer from Jacob Owens with 26 seconds left.
Rushton's jumper at the buzzer was no good, sending the game to overtime.
The Polar Bears took a 61-59 lead on a layup by Rushton with 3:35 remaining in the game.
Neither team was successful on their next possession.
Marietta would then come down and miss two layups but they would grab the rebound and Brennan McKean would hit a three pointer to put the Pioneers in front 62-61 with 2:22 left.
The Polar Bears had two chances to score on their next possession and were unsuccessful.
Marietta grabbed the rebound but could not score.
ONU would then turn the ball over giving the ball back to the Pioneers.
McKean would make one of two free throws to put the Pioneers up 63-61 with 53 seconds remaining.
Northern would turn the ball over again and Marietta would go up 65-61 with nine seconds left on a layup.
ONU would come up empty on their next possession and J.J. Martin drained two more free throws for Marietta.
Marietta jumped out to a 24-17 lead in the first half, but ONU responded with a 7-0 run to tie the game at 24-24 with 4:22 left in the half.
The Pioneers came back with an 8-2 run, but Northern scored the final four points of the first half and trailed 32-30 at halftime.
The Polar Bears were 23-of-57 (40 percent) from the field, while Marietta was 24-of-64 (38 percent).
Marietta won the rebounding battle 48-34 and grabbed 16 offensive rebounds, compared to just five for ONU.
Northern forced 17 Pioneer turnovers and committed 13 on the evening.
The Polar Bears will be in action again on Saturday when they travel to Mount Union for a 3 pm game.