By Caleb Scott
ADA — The Ohio Northern men's basketball team claimed the No. 3 seed in next week's Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament as they dropped a 100-85 decision at No. 9 Marietta on Saturday afternoon.
The Polar Bears fall to 16-9 overall and finish 14-4 in the OAC standings, while the Pioneers improve to 21-4, 16-2.
Junior Joey DiOrio (Columbus / Watterson) led the Polar Bears offensively with a season-high 21 points.
The junior also grabbed eight rebounds.
Sophomore Ryan Bruns (Chickasaw/Marion Local) added a double-double for Northern as he scored 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
After trailing the entire first half, Thress knocked down a pair of free throws with 8:38 left in the first half to give Northern its first lead of the afternoon at 24-23.
Junior Travis Feitshans (Arcanum/Franklin Monroe) would add a layup with 8:00 left in the half to give Northern its biggest advantage of the day at 26-23.
From there MC used a 13-0 run to grab a 36-26 lead with 4:47 left in the first half.
Marietta would see its lead grow to as big as 21 points in the second half.
After trailing 87-66 with 8:30 remaining in the contest, Northern would use a 7-0 run fueled by five points from Thress to pull within 87-73, but would not get any closer as MC went on to win the game.
The Polar Bears shot 32-of-66 (48.5 percent) from the field, including 13-of-32 (40.6 percent) from 3-point range.
Northern won the rebounding battle by a 37-34 margin.
The Polar Bears will host Baldwin Wallace in the first round of the OAC Tournament at the ONU Sports Center at 7:30 pm on Tuesday evening.