Men's Basketball drops 69-60 contest to Marietta

Men's Basketball drops 69-60 contest to Marietta

By: Andrew Korba

ADA -- The Ohio Northern men's basketball team fell by a 69-60 score to Marietta on Saturday afternoon at the ONU Sports Center.

The Polar Bears now stand at 8-11 overall and 4-8 in OAC play, while the Pioneers improve to 14-5 overall and remain tied atop the OAC with a 10-2 mark.

Junior Jared Horstman led Northern with 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Senior Taylor Kuhlman added 12 points and junior Branden Rushton, who battled foul trouble for the majority of the game, finished with 10.

J.J. Martin led Marietta with 17 points, while Tyler Hammond and Jacob Owens each finished with 10.

The Pioneers opened up a 44-27 lead, their largest of the game, at the 12:40 mark of the second half.

But ONU responded with a 6-0 run to get within 44-33 with just under 11 minutes to play.

After the Pioneers pushed their lead back to 49-33, the Polar Bears used an 11-3 run to cut their deficit to 52-44 with 7:06 left.

Two free throws by Kuhlman brought Northern to within 59-53 and a layup by junior Dominique Royal cut the Pioneer lead to 61-56 with 1:51 left.

A layup by sophomore Isaiah Roux cut the Marietta lead to 63-58, but the Pioneers were 6-of-6 in free throws in the final minute to put the game away.

The Pioneers opened up the game by building a 17-6 lead.

MC pushed its lead to 22-9, before a 6-1 run by ONU cut the deficit to 23-15.

The Pioneers would score the final four points of the half for a 27-15 lead at halftime.

"We has some offensive struggles in the first half," said head coach Kevin Byrne. "We moved better and had a lot more flow in the second half. We will continue to keep on working and get better as a team."

ONU shot 20-of-53 (37.7 percent) from the field, while Marietta was 23-of-47 (48.9 percent).

The Pioneers shot 8-of-17 (47.1 percent) in three pointers, while the Polar Bears were just 4-of-19 (21.1 percent).

MC won the rebounding battle by a 36-29 margin.

ONU committed only nine turnovers, compared to 13 for the Pioneers.

Ohio Northern will return to action on Wednesday, when it plays at Otterbein at 7:30 pm.