Junior Devon Allen leads Men's Basketball as they defeat Otterbein 87-84 in the OAC season opener

Junior Devon Allen leads Men's Basketball as they defeat Otterbein 87-84 in the OAC season opener

By Ashley Birchmeier

WESTERVILLE — The Ohio Northern men's basketball team held off a late Otterbein rally to win 87-84 Wednesday evening in its Ohio Athletic Conference opener at the Rike Center.

The Polar Bears improve to 4-2 overall, 1-0 OAC, while Otterbein falls to 1-5, 0-1.

Northern was led in the contest by junior Devon Allen with a team-high 21 points.

The Polar Bears saw four individuals score in double digits, Allen, junior Konnor Baker with 12 points, junior Aron Thress with 19 points and freshman Ryan Bruns with 12 points.

Allen would shoot a perfect 13-for-13 from the free-throw line, making 10 in the final minute of play.

In the first half, the Polar Bears would fall behind early but a three from Baker with 15:39 to play would give ONU the 11-9 advantage.

The two teams would exchange points for several minutes before Northern was able to string together a 9-0 run and take the 26-20 advantage with 7:19 remaining till the break.

With 2:02 to play till halftime, the Polar Bears would put together another 5-0 run led Thress to take the 40-34 halftime advantage. 

In the second half, Thress would extend the ONU lead once more as he made a free throw with 16:32 to play extending the ONU lead to 46-36.

Otterbein would slowly begin to cut into that lead as a layup from junior Bryan Mackenzie would pull the Cardinals within 50-43.

Northern continued to work as a three pointer from sophomore Joey DiOrio with 10:29 left in the contest would push ONU to the 61-48 advantage.

With 3:31 remaining in the contest, Otterbein would string together a key 10-0 run that would cut the ONU lead to 77-73.

Allen would finish the last minute of competition shooting a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line to hold off the charging Cardinals for the 87-84 victory.

Otterbein was led in the contest by junior Jake Phillis with a game-high 25 points.

Northern returns to action Saturday as they host OAC foe John Carroll at 3 pm.