Ryan Bruns, Nate Burger have career nights to lead Men's Basketball in 106-94 season-opening victory at Defiance

Ryan Bruns, Nate Burger have career nights to lead Men's Basketball in 106-94 season-opening victory at Defiance

By Tim Glon

DEFIANCE — Junior Ryan Bruns (Chickasaw/Marion Local) scored a career-high 36 points and senior Nate Burger (Dayton/Alter) had a career-high 30 points to lead the Ohio Northern men's basketball team to a 106-94 season-opening victory at Defiance Monday evening at the Weaner Center.

The Polar Bears improve to 1-0, while the Yellow Jackets fall to 1-2.

Senior Joey DiOrio (Columbus/Watterson) scored 18 and junior Daniel Donner (Belleville/Northmor) added 10 points for ONU.

Bruns added 10 rebounds for his 38th career double-double and Burger added a career-high 14 assists for his first career double-double.

Noah Goodrich led Defiance with 28 points.

Bruns and Burger are believed to be the only two players to score 30 or more points in the same game in Ohio Northern history.

Northern scored 24 of the final 33 points of the first half to lead 55-43 at halftime, with Bruns and Burger leading the way with 22 and 19 points, respectively, in the first 20 minutes.

ONU then scored the first six points of the second half to extend the lead to 61-43.

"I thought we were very good on the offfensive end," ONU head coach Rich Bensman said. "Defiance shot the ball well and took advantage of our defensive breakdowns. We have some work to do on the defensive end, but this was a good road win to open the season."

DC got within 82-75 with 8:28 to play.

But the Polar Bears put the game away with a 10-2 run to extended the lead to 102-85 with 2:23 left in the game.

Northern used a 7-0 run to take a 31-21 lead with 8:57 left in the first half, but the Yellow Jackets answered with a 13-0 run to go up 34-31 just 2:46 later.

Northern made 41-of-66 field goals for 62.1 percent and were 9-of-25 from 3-point range for 36.0 percent, while Defiance was 31-of-77 from the floor for 40.3 percent and were a blistering 17-of-36 from beyond the arc for 47.2 percent.

DC out-rebounded ONU 38-37.

The Polar Bears will return to action this weekend when they travel to Cincinnati for the Mount Saint Joseph Tip-Off Classic. ONU will face No. 9 Washington (Mo.) on Saturday at 5 pm.