Royal's career night leads Men's Basketball past Otterbein 87-82

Royal's career night leads Men's Basketball past Otterbein 87-82

By: Andrew Korba

WESTERVILLE -- Senior Dominique Royal scored a career-high 23 points to lead the Ohio Northern men's basketball team to a 87-82 win over Otterbein on Wednesday night at the Rike Center.

The Polar Bears move to 4-4 on the season and 2-2 in OAC play, while the Cardinals fall to 2-7, 1-3.

Royal went 10-of-15 from the field and also pulled down seven rebounds.

Senior Branden Rushton finished with 13 points and junior Isaiah Roux also had 13 points and grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.

Senior Jared Horstman chipped in with 11 points and nine rebounds, both season highs.

The Cardinals opened up a 76-70 lead with 4:15 to play on two free throws by Matt McCollister.

But ONU would score the next six points, capped off on a layup by Roux to tie the game back up at 76-76 with 2:53 remaining.

Northern would jump in front 81-80 on another Roux layup with 1:14 left.

The Cardinals would split a pair of free throws to tie the game up at 81-81 and Northern would come up empty on its next possession.

Otterbein would split a pair of free throws again to jump in front 82-81, but Roux made another driving layup to put the Polar Bears back in front 83-82 with 33 seconds left.

The Polar Bears would get a stop on the next possession and junior Jordan Martin knocked down two free throws to push the ONU lead to 85-82 with 16 seconds to play.

Otterbein would come up empty on its next possession and Horstman would chorale the rebound and knock down both free throws to put the game away.

The Cardinals jumped out to an early 19-12 lead, but Northern chipped away and jumped in front 30-28 on a tip in by freshman Aron Thress.

Northern held a 37-36 lead at halftime.

The Polar Bears finished 32-of-71 (45.1 percent) from the field, while Otterbein was 30-of-55 (54.5 percent).

ONU won the rebounding battle 39-30, including a 16-7 margin on the offensive boards.

Ohio Northern will return to action on Dec. 29 and Dec. 31 with a two game swing in California.

The Polar Bears face Cal Tech on Dec. 29 at 4 pm EST and Chapman on Dec. 31 at 7 pm EST.