By Caleb Scott
ADA - Junior Aron Thress scored a career-high 21 points Saturday afternoon as the Ohio Northern men's basketball team grinded out a hard fought 90-87 victory over Muskingum at the ONU Sports Center.
The Polar Bears improve to 5-5 overall and 2-3 in the Ohio Athletic Conference, while the Muskies fall to 3-8, 0-5.
Five Polar Bears scored in double figures to lead the Northern offense.
Sophomore Travis Feitshans scored 14 points and grabbed a game-high six rebounds for Northern.
Junior Konnor Baker added 12 points and also pulled down a game-high six rebounds, while junior Devon Allen added 11 points for Northern, including two huge free throws with 10 seconds remaining in the contest to seal the victory for Northern.
Junior Joey Hurless added a game-high 10 assists and finished with nine points for ONU.
Freshman Ryan Bruns also chipped in 10 points for the Polar Bears.
After jumping out to a 16-14 lead with 14:51 remaining in the first half, the Polar Bears would find themselves playing from behind for a good portion of the game.
The Northern defense would not allow the Muskies any breathing room as they kept the game within six points for the remainder of the first half.
Ohio Northern would finally regain the lead after Hurless found Allen for a 3-pointer to put the Polar Bears ahead 63-62 with 11:00 remaining in the contest.
From there the two teams would exchange leads for several minutes before a jumper from Thress gave Northern an 85-84 lead with 2:28 remaining in the contest.
After both teams exchanged shots, Baker would force Muskingum into a turnover and convert on the other end to push the Northern lead to 87-84 with 1:11 remaining in the contest.
Muskingum would answer with a three pointer to tie the game at 87-87 with 50 seconds remaining in the game.
Allen was able to knock 3-of-4 free throws from there to seal the 90-87 victory for the Polar Bears.
Muskingum was led by Jalen Paige with a game-high 23 points.
Northern shot 29-of-53 (54.7 percent) from the field including 8-of-19 from behind the three point line, while Muskingum shot 30-of-58 (51.7 percent) from the field including 10-of-23 (43.5 percent) from beyond the arc.
The Polar Bears will return to action December 30th as they take on Denison at 7 pm.