Royal's team-high 16 points leads Men's Basketball to 88-74 home victory over Otterbein

Royal's team-high 16 points leads Men's Basketball to 88-74 home victory over Otterbein

By Caleb Scott

ADA — Senior Dominique Royal led a group of four players scoring in double figures as Ohio Northern defeated Otterbein 88-74 Thursday night at the ONU Sports Center.

The Polar Bears improve their record to 11-9 overall and 7-6 in Ohio Athletic Conference play, while the Cardinals fall to 4-16, 3-10.

10 different players would score for ONU.

Royal scored 16 points for the Polar Bears and pulled down three rebounds.

Junior Lucas Pennington chipped in 12 points and pulled down a game-high seven rebounds while senior Branden Rushton scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds.

Senior Jared Horstman also scored 10 points and recorded six rebounds for Ohio Northern.

A jumper by Pennington put the Polar Bears up 40-24 with 2:33 to give them their largest lead of the first half.

A 19-7 run capped off by a layup from junior Jordan Martin would give Ohio Northern its largest lead of the game at 66-42 with just over 12 minutes remaining in the half.

Otterbein would climb its way back into the game after a layup would cap a 15-4 run and cut the lead to 74-63 with 5:47 remaining. 

But Rushton would steal a Cardinal pass and finish on the other end with a dunk to give the momentum back to the Polar Bears.

ONU took advantage of the 21 turnovers they forced, outscoring Otterbein 33-19 on points off turnovers.

"We controlled the tempo of the game and kept it at our pace," said head coach Kevin Byrne. "It was a very good team win tonight."

Ohio Northern won the rebounding battle 40-35.

The Polar Bears shot 51.5 percent from the field on 35-of-68 shooting and 33.3 percent from three point land on 5-of-15 shooting.

Otterbein made 25 of their 59 shots (42.4 percent) from the field and only 7 of their 26 shots (26.9 percent) from beyond the arc.

The Polar Bears will travel to New Concordon Saturday to take on Muskingum at 4 pm in the second game of a men's-women's doubleheader with the Muskies.