DEFIANCE, Ohio - - Freshman Jarrett Ruffin (Northfield/Nordonia) had a team-high 15 points and grabbed six rebounds, but Mount Union men's basketball team fell 73-63 to No. 12 Adrian (Mich) in the Defiance Purple and Gold Tournament.
Adrian advances to tomorrow's championship where they face will the winner of Defiance and Findlandia at 7:00 p.m. Mount Union will play the loser of Defiance and Findlandia in the consolation game tomorrow (Dec. 30) at 5:00 p.m.
With the win, Adrian improves to 11-0 overall. The big key for Adrian in the win is they won the turnover battle, committing only five turnovers as compared to Mount Union who committed 12. With the loss, Mount Union falls to 4-7 overall and 3-2 in the Ohio Athletic Conference.
Freshman Kyle Scelza (Stow/Stow-Monroe Falls) had 12 points, as he hit four three-pointers and teammate sophomore Nate Jacubec (Struthers/Struthers) scored ten points to round out the double digit scorers for the Raiders.
Sean Gallant had a double-double as he scored a game-high 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs.
Brandon Romain scored the first basket of the game at 19:29 to put the Bulldogs up 2-0 in the early going.
The Purple Raiders missed their first six shots to start the game, before senior forward Matt Kiger (Williamstown, W. Va./Williamstown) made a layup with 16:32 left in the first half, which made the score 4-2 Adrian.
Eric Lewis hit a jumper at the 11:53 mark of the first half to give Adrian a ten point at 14-4, which was their biggest lead of the first half lead and also capped a 10-2 run by the bulldogs.
Ruffin hit two free-throws at 7:08 to make the score 17-14, which capped a 10-3 run by the Raiders and would be the closest they would get for the half.
Adrian would take an eight point lead into the break, 32-24.
Eric Lewis hit a free-throw with 12:44 to go in the game to give the Bulldogs an 11 point lead at 48-37, which matched their largest lead of the game.
Kyle Scelza hit his fourth three-pointer of the game, to cut the Bulldogs lead to 1 at 55-54 with 6:55 to go in the game, which was the closest the Raiders would get.
Junior Jimmy Darnley (Canton/GlenOak) converted a layup with 1:24 to go in the second half, which made the score 66-63.
Eric Lewis made a key three-pointer with 48 seconds to go to put the Bulldogs up by 6 and made the score 69-63, thus putting the game out of reach.
The Bulldogs would go on a 7-0 run to end the game for the 73-63 victory to stay undefeated.