By Caleb Scott
ADA — The Ohio Northern men's basketball team fell to No. 23-ranked Mount Union 79-71 Wednesday evening at the ONU Sports Center.
The Polar Bears fall to 4-4 overall and 1-2 in the Ohio Athletic Conference, while the Purple Raiders improve to 6-2, 3-0.
Northern was led offensively by junior Aron Thress who scored a team-high 17 points and pulled down seven rebounds.
Freshman Ryan Bruns also scored in double figures for the Polar Bears, posting 11 points and adding a game-high three blocks.
Junior Konnor Baker grabbed a team-high eight rebounds for Northern.
ONU would force an early Mount Union timeout with 15:05 remaining in the first half as Northern jumped out to a quick 13-2 lead behind six points from Thress and five points from Allen.
Ohio Northern would continue their hot start as back-to-back three pointers from Hurless and a three pointer from Feitshans pushed the lead to 24-6 with 11:33 remaining in the first half.
After Northern pulled ahead 29-17 with 8:20 to go in the first half, the Purple Raiders would fight back with a 10-0 run to close the gap to 29-27 with 5:02 remaining in period.
From there Mount Union would outscore the Polar Bears 12-8 to take a 39-37 lead into halftime.
An 11-0 run by MtU pushed the lead to 55-41 with 14:12 remaining in the contest.
Northern would respond with a 14-3 run capped off by a 3-pointer from sophomore Joey DiOrio to pull within 58-55 and force a Mount Union timeout with 11:15 left in the game.
Northern couldn't manage to get any closer as Mount Union went on to win the game 79-71.
Northern shot 22-of-59 (37.3 percent) from the field, including 6-of-19 (31.6 percent) from behind the 3-point line.
Mount Union shot 29-of-64 (45.3 percent) from the field, including 11-of-25 (44.0 percent) from three point land.
Mount Union won the rebounding battle 40-35.
The Polar Bears will return to action Saturday as they travel to Columbus to take on Capital at the Capital Center at 3 pm.