Rally falls just short as Men's Basketball drops 71-67 decision to Mount Union

Rally falls just short as Men's Basketball drops 71-67 decision to Mount Union
By Caleb Scott
ADA — The Ohio Northern men's basketball team rallied from a 16-point first half deficit, but fell short to Mount Union 71-67 Saturday afternoon at the ONU Sports Center.

The Polar Bears fall to 7-6 on the season and are 3-3 in Ohio Athletic Conference play, while the Purple Raiders improves its record to 10-2, 5-0.

Senior Dominique Royal led the way for the ONU, with 12 points. Junior Jordan Martin added 11 points and junior Lucas Pennington added nine points.

Mount Union was led by Jarrett Ruffin, with a game-high 14 points and a game-high three blocked shots.

Ohio Northern found themselves in a hole as they trailed 39-24 at halftime. ONU then scored the first five second half points to come within 39-29 with 18:35 left to play. 

Mount Union then went on an 8-5 run to push the lead to 48-35 with 14:20 to go.

Trailing 64-54 with 4:42 left, Northern got a lift from its bench as freshmen Joey Hurless, Devon Allen, Alex MeyerAlex Radkiewicz and Martin sparked a 7-0 run to pull the Polar Bears with 64-61 with 2:41 to go.

"Our young guys played well in the second half," said ONU head coach Kevin Byrne. "I'm proud of how our team battled back from a big deficit against a very good team. We got a good look at a three-pointer to tie it towards the end, but just couldn't get it to go in."

The Polar Bears had two chances to tie the game in the final two minutes, but were unable to convert.

Ohio Northern would force Mount Union into 13 second half turnovers, and 20 for the game.

ONU shot 39.4 percent from the field on 26-of-66 shooting and finished 6-of-22 from beyond the arc, shooting 27.3 percent.

Mount Union finished the game shooting 47.9 percent on 23-of-48 from the field. The Raiders also shot 40.0 percent from beyond the arc on 8-of-20.

Mount Union won the rebounding battle 36-31.
The Polar Bears will travel to Tiffin Wednesday to take on Heidelberg at the Sieberling Gymnasium at 7:30 pm.