By Tim Glon
UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS — John Carroll scored on eight of its first 10 second half possessions and pulled away for a 94-77 victory over Ohio Northern in the championship game of the 2018 Ohio Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament on Saturday night at the DeCarlo Center.
The third-seeded Polar Bears (19-9 overall) must now wait until Monday at 12:30 pm when the NCAA III Tournament field is revealed to see if their season will continue.
The top-seeded Blue Streaks (23-5 overall) win the league's automatic bid to the NCAA III Tournament.
Senior Nate Burger (Dayton/Alter) led four ONU players in double figures in scoring with 16 points.
Burger was named to the OAC All-Tournament Team.
John Carroll led 43-39 after a tightly-contested first half, but opened the second half on a 12-3 run to grab a 55-42 advantage just 2:36 into the period.
Ohio Northern got within 60-53 with 14:34 left in the game.
But the Blue Streaks answered with a 15-3 run to go up 75-56 with 9:57 remaining.
The lead would bounce between 13 and 17 points the rest of the way as neither team was able to mount a run of any kind.
ONU finished the game 28-of-67 from the field for 41.8 percent and made 7-of-25 3-pointers for 28.0 percent, while JCU made 34-of-69 from the floor for 49.3 percent and were 11-of-30 from three-point range for 36.7 percent.
John Carroll out-rebounded Ohio Northern 52-32.
The Polar Bears were in the finals of the OAC Tournament for the 11th time in school history and for the first time since 2008.
Northern won the tournament title in 1980, 1995, 1999, 2000 and 2001.