By Caleb Scott
ADA — Despite a career-high 22 points from senior Joey Hurless (Van Wert), the Ohio Northern men's basketball team came up short as they fell to Transylvania (Ky.) 86-84 in the Don Lane Classic finals at Transylvania (Ky.) on Wednesday evening.
The Polar Bears fall to 5-5 on the season and remain 3-1 in the Ohio Athletic Conference, while the Pioneers move to 4-5.
Hurless scored a team-high 22 points, while going a perfect 4-of-4 from the 3-point line.
The senior also dished out a game-high five assists.
Sophomore Travis Feitshans (Arcanum/Franklin Monroe) (14 points), junior Nate Burger (Dayton/Alter) (11 points) and senior Aron Thress (Lancaster/Amanda Clearcreek) (10 points) each scored in double figures for the Polar Bears.
Senior Konnor Baker (Ada) pulled down a game-high nine rebounds and chipped in nine points.
After a TU layup would close the Northern lead to 25-20, ONU would use a 13-3 run capped off by back-to-back 3-pointers to take a commanding 38-23 lead with 5:43 remaining in the first half.
A Hurless layup with 1:36 remaining in the first half pushed the lead to 49-30, before the Pioneers closed the half on a 6-0 run to pull within 49-36 at the intermission.
With 15:10 left in the contest, Transylvania closed the gap to 56-50 to force a Northern timeout.
ONU would respond out of the timeout and score six straight to gain a 62-50 advantage with 13:30 remaining in the contest.
After Burger sunk two free throws with 1:46 remaining in the contest to push the lead to 84-77, the Pioneers would close the contest on a 9-0 run, including a tip in with one second remaining to seal the victory.
The Polar Bears shot 33-of-66 (50.0 percent) from the field, including 9-of-16 (56.3 percent) from the 3-point line.
ONU outrebounded Transylvania 38-27, including 12 offensive rebounds.
The Polar Bears will return to action on New Years Eve, as they travel to Trine (Ind.) to take on the Thunder at 2 pm.