By Caleb Scott
ADA — Sophomore Ryan Bruns' (Chickasaw/Marion Local) layup with one second remaining helped lift the Ohio Northern men's basketball team to a 93-91 victory over John Carroll Saturday afternoon at the ONU Sports Center.
With the victory, the Polar Bears improve to 4-4 overall and 3-1 in the Ohio Athletic Conference, while the Blue Streaks fall to 3-5, 2-2.
Junior Nate Burger (Dayton/Alter) led the way offensively for Northern, as he poured in career-best 29 points and went 7-of-9 from the 3-point line.
Senior Konnor Baker (Ada) was one rebound shy of a double-double as he posted 20 points and tied for a game-high with nine rebounds.
Bruns and senior Joey Hurless (Van Wert) each chipped in 10 points for ONU.
After Baker sunk a free throw to give Northern a late 91-89 lead, JCU would answer with a quick layup with seven seconds remaining in the contest to tie the contest at 91-91.
After the ensuing timeout, Northern would execute perfectly as Burger was able to find a wide open Bruns under the basket to give Northern the 93-91 advantage.
Bruns would ensure the Polar Bear victory in the final second as he tipped the inbound pass in the final second to seal the 93-91 victory.
JCU would enjoy its biggest lead of the afternoon after a 3-pointer in the first half gave them a 29-15 advantage with 12:38 remaining in the first half.
The Polar Bears were able to chip away at the Blue Streak lead and close the gap to as close as 40-39 after a pair of free throws from senior Devon Allen (Lima/Senior).
After the Blue Streaks pushed their advantage to 77-73 in the second half, Burger would find senior Aron Thress (Lancaster/Amanda Clearcreek) to cap off an 8-2 run and give Northern its first lead of the contest with 5:48 remaining in the game.
The Northern offense would prove to be too strong down the stretch as ONU went on to win 93-91.
The Polar Bears shot 31-of-67 (46.3 percent) from the field, including 13-of-29 (44.8 percent) from the 3-point line.
ONU narrowly edged the Blue Streaks 38-37 on the boards.
Ohio Northern will return to action Tuesday as they travel to Lexington (Ky.) to compete in the Don Lane Classic and take on Lynchburg (Va.) and Transylvania (Ky.) in the two-day tournament.