By Tim Glon
ADA — Senior Devon Allen (Lima/Senior) scored four of his game-high 24 points in the final 28 seconds to lead the Ohio Northern men's basketball team to a 101-96 victory over Muskingum Saturday afternoon at the ONU Sports Center.
The Polar Bears (14-7 overall, 12-2 Ohio Athletic Conference) run their winning streak to nine games and remain in a first place tie in the league standings with No. 13-ranked Marietta.
ONU also clinches its first winning season since 2013-14 under first-year head coach Rich Bensman.
The Muskies fall to 12-9, 6-8.
Senior Aron Thress (Lancaster/Amanda Clearcreek) scored 18 points, senior Konnor Baker (Ada) scored 16 points, junior Nate Burger (Dayton/Alter) added 13 points, sophomore Ryan Bruns (Chickasaw/Marion Local) had 12 points and 10 rebounds and junior Joey DiOrio (Columbus/Watterson) chipped in 11 points as Ohio Northern had six players in double figures in scoring.
Muskingum also had six players in double figures, led by a 20-point, 9-rebound effort from Joshua Keyes.
Clinging to a 97-94 lead, Allen hit a fadeaway 16-footer in traffic as the shot clock was winding down to extend the lead to 99-94 with 28 seconds to play.
The Polar Bear defense forced a Muskie miss on the other end and Allen drained two free throws with 10 seconds to go to ice the game.
ONU led 88-81 with 4:57 to go on a layup by Burger.
But Muskingum would score on its next six possessions to trim the lead to 97-94 in the final minute, setting up Allen's heroics.
MU led 49-46 at halftime, but the Polar Bears scored the first eight points of the second half to take the lead for good at 54-49 with 18:42 to go.
Ohio Northern made 34-of-55 field goal attempts for 61.8 percent and were 13-of-22 from 3-point range for 59.1 percent.
Muskingum made 36-of-69 field goal attempts for 52.2 percent and were 10-of-23 from three for 43.5 percent.
The Polar Bears will return to action on Wednesday in a 7 pm contest against Heidelberg at the ONU Sports Center.