Horstman's late three lifts Men's Basketball past Wilmington in overtime thriller

Horstman's late three lifts Men's Basketball past Wilmington in overtime thriller

By: Andrew Korba

WILMINGTON -- Senior Jared Horstman drained a 3-pointer with three seconds left in overtime to lead the Ohio Northern men's basketball team to a 88-85 overtime road victory on Wednesday evening at Raizk Arena.

The Polar Bears have now won five in a row and push their record to 15-9 on the season and 11-6 in the OAC, while the Quakers fall to 15-8, 12-5.

The win also clinches a first round bye for ONU in the first round of the OAC Tournament which begins next week.

Senior Dominique Royal paced Northern with a career-high 27 points, going a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line. He also grabbed six rebounds.

Senior Branden Rushton added 12 points and junior Lucas Pennington finished with 11 points.

Royal sunk two free throws with 10 seconds left in regulation to cut the Quakers lead to 75-74.

After Malcom Heard II split a pair of free throws, Rushton nailed a jumper with one second left to force overtime.

Royal would put the Polar Bears in front at 78-76 on a tip in with 3:59 left in the extra session.

The Quakers would come right back with a 3-pointer, but ONU would get two free throws from Royal to jump back in front 80-79.

A free throw from junior Isaiah Roux put Northern up 83-81 with 1:20 left in overtime, but Heard II tied the game on Wilmington's next possession.

Rushton sunk two free throws with 48 seconds left to put the Polar Bears up 85-83, but WC tied the game back up on a layup by R.J. Leppert with 37 seconds remaining in the game.

Horstman would then sink the 3-pointer with three seconds left to give ONU the win.

ONU used a 7-0 run to open up a 23-15 lead with just over nine minutes left in the first half.

A layup from freshman Aron Thress gave the Polar Bears their largest lead of the night at 36-21, with 4:05 remaining in the first half.

But the Quakers finished the half on a 9-2 run to trim the ONU advantage to 40-35 at the break.

The Polar Bears finished the game 32-of-76 (42.1 percent) from the field and 19-of-22 (86.4 percent) from the charity stripe.

WC went 28-of-62 (45.2 percent) in free throws and 23-of-31 (74.2 percent) in free throws.

The Polar Bears held a 46-37 advantage on the glass, including 21-14 in offensive rebounds.

Northern also outscored the Quakers 40-30 in the paint and held a 17-4 advantage in fast break points.

Ohio Northern will return to action on Saturday, when it host Capital at the ONU Sports Center at 3 pm. The Polar Bears will honor their three seniors before the game as part of Senior Day festivities.