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.
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.