By Tim Glon
ADA — The Ohio Northern men's basketball team posted an 86-84 victory over Capital in its Ohio Athletic Conference opener at the Capital Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Polar Bears improve to 3-2 overall, and are 1-0 in the OAC, while the Crusaders fall to 2-4, 0-1.
Senior Nate Burger (Dayton/Alter) led four Ohio Northern players in double figures in scoring with 23 points and a team-high eight assists.
Junior Ryan Bruns (Chickasaw/Marion Local) played just four minutes in the first half after picking up three quick fouls, but dominated in the second half to finish with 16 points and five rounds.
Capital was led by Joey Weingartner with 27 points.
Northern used a 9-0 run midway through the first half to take a 36-28 lead with 7:03 left in the period and went on a 12-2 run to go up 48-37 before settling for a 50-45 lead at intermission.
The ONU lead bounced between four and 10 points in the second half until Capital got within 73-70 with 5:20 to play.
A basket by Burger and a 3-pointer from sophomore Austin Allemeier (Elida) extended the lead to 78-70 and a 3-pointer from Bruns made it 81-70 with 2:37 remaining.
Capital got within 83-79 in the final 30 seconds, but Bruns blocked a 3-point attempt and DiOrio grabbed the rebounds and made a pair of free throws with 18 seconds to go to ice the game.
Northern was 31-of-63 from the floor for 49.2 percent, including a blistering 15-of-32 (46.9 percent) from the 3-point line, while the Crusaders were 30-of-64from the field for 46.9 percent and were 10-of-24 from three-point land for 41.7 percent.
CU edged ONU on the boards by a 37-34 margin.
The Polar Bears will return to action on Wednesday evening as they host Wilmington in another OAC contest.