By Tim Glon
ADA — Senior All-American Ryan Bruns (Chickasaw/Marion Local) posted his 23rd career double-double, leading the Ohio Northern men's basketball team to a 75-70 victory over Otterbein on Wednesday night at the ONU Sports Center.
The Polar Bears improve to 5-17 overall and are 1-14 in the Ohio Athletic Conference, while the Cardinals fall to 6-15, 3-12.
Bruns dominated inside throughout the contest and finished with 33 points and 12 rebounds. He drew an impressive nine fouls from the Cardinal defenders.
Justin Carter led three Otterbein players in double figures with 22 points.
Trailing 62-53 with 7:49 left in the game, Ohio Northern answered with a 14-1 run to grab a 67-63 lead with 4:16 to go.
Unruh led the run with eight points and Bruns sparked the run with a basket inside at the 7:31 mark.
Unruh nailed a 3 with 6;50 to go and junior Austin Allemeier (Lima/Elida) followed with a fast break layup off a block by Bruns with 6:24 to play and it was 62-60.
After a Cardinal timeout, freshman Ty Staten (Proctorville/Fairland) hit a jumper to get ONU within 63-62 with 5:29 left.
ONU grabbed the lead for good at 64-63 with another fast break lauyp, this time by Unruh, off a steal by junior Caleb Bryan (Pittsburgh, Pa./Montour) and a Staten assist with 5:03 to play.
Unruh capped the run by nailing another three-pointer at the 4:16 mark to put ONU ahead 67-63.
A Bruns free throw extended the lead to 72-66 with 1:13 to go and another free throw by Bruns put ONU ahead 73-68 with 19 seconds left.
Unruh iced the game with a pair of free throws with 12.7 seconds left.
Bruns scored 20 of his points in the first half as the teams battled to a 37-37 draw at intermission.
"I'm very happy for our guys to get a win," ONU head coach Rich Bensman said. "We kept playing hard and got some key 3-pointers to fall in the second half. Ryan Bruns was dominant inside and the other guys around him did their parts. We only had eight turnovers, which has been a big bug of ours this season, so it was a good all-around win."
ONU made 31-of-65 shots from the field for 47.7 percent and were 5-of-21 from three-point range for 23.8 percent, while OU converted 25-of-52 shot attempts for 48.1 percent and were 5-of-20 from beyond the arc for 25 percent.
Ohio Northern out-rebounded Otterbein 40-28 and won the turnover battle 10-8.
The Polar Bears will return to action on Saturday when they travel to John Carroll for a 2 pm contest.