By Tim Glon
ORANGE (Calif.) -- Senior Branden Rushton scored a career-high 31 points to lead the Ohio Northern men's basketball team to an 86-82 victory at Chapman (Calif.) Tuesday afternoon at the Hutton Sports Center.
The Polar Bears win their fourth straight game and improve to 6-4 on the season, while the Panthers fall to 8-4.
Northern finished its Los Angeles-area road trip with a 2-0 record, as ONU topped Caltech 102-69 on Sunday.
Rushton was 12-of-18 from the floor, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range, and shattered his previous career-high of 24 by seven points.
Taylor Hamaski scored 27 points, John Joyce scored 20 points and Colin Zavrsnick scored 15 points for Chapman.
Freshman Devon Allen nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to give ONU the lead for good at 60-55 with 10:41 left in the game.
Pennington followed with a pair of free throws at the 10:26 mark to cap an 8-0 run and make it a 62-55 game.
Rushton scored with 2:58 to play to put ONU up 80-77 and the Polar Bears would make six consecutive free throws in the final 36 seconds to ice the contest.
Both teams shot well from the floor, as ONU made good on 31-of-63 shots for 49.2 percent, while the Panthers made 34-of-55 shots for 61.8 percent.
Northern hit on 9-of-20 shots from behind the 3-point arc for 45.0 percent, while CU made just 3-of-12 for 25.0 percent. The Polar Bears were also a blistering 15-of-16 from the foul line.
Chapman won the rebounding battle 29-25.
ONU will wrap up its non-conference schedule on Saturday with a 2 pm contest against Trine (Ind.) at the ONU Sports Center.