Senior Nate Burger breaks single-season scoring record as Men's Basketball pulls away for 81-60 victory over Capital in the quarterfinals of the OAC Tournament

Senior Nate Burger breaks single-season scoring record as Men's Basketball pulls away for 81-60 victory over Capital in the quarterfinals of the OAC Tournament

By Tim Glon

ADA — Ohio Northern pulled away in the final 10 minutes to post an 81-60 victory over Capital in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Ohio Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament on Tuesday evening at the ONU Sports Center.

The third-seeded Polar Bears (18-8 overall) advance to Thursday's semifinals and will play at No. 24-ranked Marietta, while the sixth-seeded Crusaders end their season at 11-13.

Seniors Nate Burger (Dayton/Alter) and Joey DiOrio (Columbus/Watterson) each scored 19 points and junior Daniel Donner (Belleville/Northmor) added a career-high 18 points to lead ONU.

Burger's 19 points gives him 642 for the season, breaking the previous school record of 634 points set by 1995 NCAA Division III National Player of the Year D'Artis Jones.

Burger is currently second in the OAC and is ninth nationally, averaging 24.7 ppg.

Northern raced to a quick 24-8 lead with 9:23 left in the opening half, only to see Capital climb back within 40-33 by intermission.

The ONU lead was 51-47 when a 6-0 run gave the hosts a 57-47 advantage with 10:02 left in the game.

Burger and DiOrio nailed back-to-back threes and Burger made a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 69-54 with 5:19 left.

Donner nailed a three as the shot clock was winding down to make it 72-54 with 3:57 to go and knocked down a pair of free throws at the 2:40 mark to put the Polar Bears on top 76-56.

"We did a good job of playing team basketball in the second half," ONU head coach Rich Bensman said. "We worked as a unit and knocked down some shots. Capital did a good job of getting back into the game after our quick start, but I was really happy with how we stepped it up and got control back."

Senior Grant Pepper (Oakwood) nailed a three with 1:24 to go to make it 79-56 and junior Joe Hadib (Westlake) got a layup with 40 seconds remaining to make it 81-58.

ONU again played without junior Ryan Bruns (Chickasaw/Marion Local), who missed his third consecutive game with an injury and is listed as day-to-day.

Capital was led in scoring by Joey Weingartner with 15 points and Austin Schreck with 13 points.

The Polar Bears made 29-of-62 field goals for 46.8 percent and were 10-of-19 from 3-point range for 52.6 percent, while the Crusaders were 21-of-55 from the floor for 38.2 percent and made 6-of-24 three-pointers for 25.0 percent.

CU out-rebounded ONU 38-34, but Northern forced Capital into 17 turnovers while committing just nine.