By Caleb Scott
ADA — Senior Konnor Baker (Ada) and junior Nate Burger (Dayton/Alter) scored 17 points each as the Ohio Northern men's basketball team picked up its first win of the Rich Bensman era with a 93-51 victory over Defiance Tuesday evening.
The Polar Bears improve to 1-2 overall, while the Yellow Jackets drop to 0-3.
Baker added eight rebounds for Northern, while Burger dished out five assists.
Senior Aron Thress (Lancaster/Amanda Clearcreek) posted his first double-double of the season as he scored 12 points and added 11 rebounds.
Sophomore center Ryan Bruns (Chickasaw/Marion Local) also posted a double-double as he scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Senior Devon Allen (Lima/Senior) chipped in 12 points for Northern offensively.
"I was really happy with the way we played tonight," Bensman said. "We played together as a team on both ends of the floor. We have a long way to go, but tonight was a good effort by our guys."
The Polar Bears wasted no time in gaining an advantage as they used a 23-0 run to begin the contest, led by nine points from Baker.
Defiance would get its first bucket with 10:34 remaining in the first half before a layup from Thress and two free throws from junior Joey DiOrio (Columbus/Watterson) extended the lead to 27-2 with 9:50 left before the intermission.
Senior Joey Hurless (Van Wert) was able to find Burger for a 3-pointer with 5:26 left in the first half to give Northern its largest lead of the half at 41-13.
After Defiance closed the gap to 51-28 in the second half, Northern would use a 9-0 run capped off by a fast break layup from Allen to push the lead to 60-28 with 13:15 remaining in the contest.
Northern would use a 10-0 run in the second half fueled by six points from Thress to gain its biggest advantage of the evening at 80-35 with 6:57 remaining in the contest.
ONU shot a blistering 34-of-66 (51.5 percent) from the field, including 6-of-17 (35.3 percent) from beyond the arc.
The Yellow Jackets shot 20-of-70 (28.6 percent) from the floor, while connecting on 8-of-31 (25.8 percent) from the 3-point line.
Northern returns to action Saturday as they host Wisconsin-Whitewater at the ONU Sports Center at 4 pm.