Slow start dooms Men's Basketball in 101-83 in OAC Tournament Quarterfinal loss at Mt Union

Slow start dooms Men's Basketball in 101-83 in OAC Tournament Quarterfinal loss at Mt Union

By Tim Glon

| OAC Championships Page |

ALLIANCE -- Ohio Northern got off to a slow start and was not able to recover in a 101-82 loss at Mount Union Tuesday evening in the quarterfinals of the Ohio Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament at the McPherson Academic and Athletic Center.

The sixth-seeded Polar Bears end their season at 12-14 overall, while the third-seeded Purple Raiders improve to 20-6.

MtU advances to the semifinals on Thursday and will face either second-seeded John Carroll or seventh-seeded Heidelberg.

Senior Lucas Pennington led the Polar Bears with 21 points, senior Isaiah Roux had 10 points, sophomore Konnor Baker added 10 points and senior Jordan Martin chipped in nine points.

Mount Union came out of the game hot, building a 35-14 lead in the first 12:23 on 13-of-20 shooting from the floor, including a blistering 8-of-11 from 3-point range.

A 3-pointer by Pennington and a fastbreak layup from Baker got momentum on Northern's side and trimmed the deficit to 35-19 with 4:39 left in the half.

Pennington got another basket and nailed another 3 to spur a 10-3 run and get the Polar Bears within 38-24.

But MtU took a 49-28 lead into intermission and was in control the rest of the way.

"I am very proud of our guys - they played hard all season long," ONU head coach Kevin Byrne said." Obviously, tonight was a disappointnent. But Mount Union is a very good team. They had a great night shooting the ball and the game got away from us."

Sophomore Alex Radkiewicz scored Northern's first eight points and finished with eight points and a team-high seven rebounds.

It was the final game for ONU's three seniors, Pennington, Roux and Martin.

In 105 career games, Pennington scored 925 points and finished as ONU's No. 2-ranked free throw percentage leader, making 148-168 for an 88.1 percentage.

Roux ranked 15th all-time at ONU with 258 career assists and scored 740 points in 101 career games.

Martin scored 587 points in 95 career games as a four-year regular on the varsity.

Ohio Northern made 31-of-75 field goal attempts for 41.3 percent, while Mount Union was 31-65 from the floor for 47.7 percent. The Polar Bears were 10-of-32 from 3-point range for 31.3 percent and the Purple Raider made 16-of-29 from beyond the arc for 55.2 percent.

MtU out-rebounded ONU 49-36.