By Tim Glon
ADA — Ohio Northern outscored Capital 53-18 over the final 18 minutes to rally for an 87-65 men's basketball victory over Capital at the ONU Sports Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Polar Bears (2-3 overall) improve to 1-0 in the Ohio Athletic Conference and have now won their last three OAC openers.
The Crusaders fall to 4-3, 0-1.
Senior Devon Allen (Lima/Senior) led five ONU players in double figures in scoring with a season-high 21 points.
Senior Aron Thress (Lancaster/Amanda Clearcreek) scored 18 points and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds, senior Konnor Baker (Ada) added 15 points and junior Nate Burger (Dayton/Alter) and sophomore Ryan Bruns (Chickasaw/Marion Local) scored 13 points each for Ohio Northern.
Tyrel Jackson led Capital with 17 points.
The Crusaders opened the second half on a 10-1 run to take a 47-34 lead with 17:55 left in the game.
But the Polar Bears came roaring back and dominated the final 18 minutes.
"I was glad to see us stay with it when we fell behind," ONU head coach Rich Bensman said. "Our guys stuck with it and kept playing hard. Then we started knocking down some shots and got rolling."
Northern made 18-of-32 field goals during the late run and were 8-of-13 from 3-point range in the final 18 minutes.
A 3-pointer by Baker gave ONU a 53-51 lead and a three by Allen gave the Polar Bears the lead for good at 56-53 with 12:09 to go.
Up 58-57, an 18-2 run extended Northern's lead to 76-59 with 5:43 left and the lead grew to as many as 87-63 in the final minute of play.
The Polar Bears finished the game 29-of-61 from the floor for 47.5 percent and were 13-of-26 from 3-point range for 50.0 percent.
Capital was 25-of-56 from the floor for 44.6 percent and was 5-of-17 from three for 29.4 percent.
CU out-rebounded ONU 35-29 but committed 17 turnovers to just seven for Ohio Northern.
The Polar Bears will return to action Wednesday with a 7 pm contest at Wilmington.