By: Andrew Korba
BEREA -- Senior Branden Rushton scored a game-high 24 points to lead the Ohio Northern men's basketball team to a 89-77 road victory at Baldwin Wallace on Wednesday evening at Usprung Gymnasium.
The Polar Bears improve to 10-8 on the season and 6-5 in OAC play, while the Yellow Jackets fall to 9-9, 5-6.
Rushton finished 9-of-13 from the field and also recorded two steals.
Kyle Payne paced BW with 17 points and five rebounds.
A jumper by Royal at the 14:52 mark of the first half capped a 6-0 run and put Northern up 17-10.
The Yellow Jackets would tie the game at 34-34 with four minutes left in the first half and would jump in front to take a 42-38 lead into halftime.
ONU scored the first seven points of the second half, capped off by a layup from Rushton, to take a 45-42 lead with just over 18 minutes left to play.
The teams would continue to battle and a basket by BW's Zach Brandy tied the game at 61-61.
But the Polar Bears stormed back and used a 12-3 run to pull ahead 74-63 with 4:23 left.
ONU would go 12-of-16 from the free throw line down the stretch, not letting the Yellow Jackets get closer than 10 points for the rest of the game.
Northern finished 32-of-62 (51.6 percent) from the field and were 21-of-29 (72.4 percent) from the charity stripe, while the Yellow Jackets finished 25-of-58 (43.1 percent) shooting and were 16-of-23 (69.6 percent) from the line.
The Polar Bears won the rebounding battle 36-32.
ONU also scored 21 points off of turnovers and held a 40-24 advantage in points in the paint.
Ohio Northern will return to action on Saturday, when it hits the road to take on Marietta at 3 pm.