By Tim Glon
ADA — Juniors Dominique Royal and Branden Rushton scored 15 points each to lead Ohio Northern in a 72-57 setback against Mounnt Union on Saturday afternoon in an Ohio Athletic Conference men's basketball contest at the ONU Sports Center.
The Polar Bears fall to 11-12 overall and are 7-9 in OAC action, while the Purple Raiders improve to 11-12, 9-7.
The two teams split the season series this year as ONU won 69-63 in Alliance on Jan. 5.
Junior Jared Horstman added 11 points for Northern.
Mount Union was led by Nate Jacubec with a game-high 24 points, and Matt Kiger with 11 points.
ONU scored eight straight points to take a 16-14 lead with 9:45 left in the first half.
But Jacubec scored 11 of his 24 points during a 21-8 first half run that gave MtU a 35-24 lead with 2:22 left in the first half.
The Purple Raiders opened the second half on a 5-0 run to take a 43-26 advantage with 17:34 left in the game.
Northern rallied and a jumper by Rushton pulled the hosts within 51-43 with 10:04 to go.
The margin bounced within 10 and 12 points for the next six minutes before a 6-0 run gave the visitors a 68-52 lead with 1:52 remaining.
ONU made 23-of-51 field goal attempts for 45.1 percent, while MtU made 24-of-47 field goals for 51.1 percent.
The Polar Bears forced 17 turnovers while committing just 13 themselves.
But MtU won the rebounding battle by a 33-22 margin and out-scored ONU 18-10 at the foul line.
Ohio Northern will return to action on Wednesday night with a 7:30 pm contest against Wilmington at the ONU Sports Center on Senior Night.