ALLIANCE, Ohio - - Sophomore Stevie Griffin (Canton/Massillon Jackson) scored a team-high 17 points but Mount Union's men's basketball team fell to Wilmington 69-68 in an Ohio Athletic Conference men's basketball matchup Saturday at the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex.
With the win, Wilmington improves to 13-12 overall and 10-8 in the OAC, while Mount Union falls to 11-14 and 9-9 in the conference.
Junior T.J. Gillespie (Toledo/St. John's) scored 13 points and freshman Jarrett Ruffin (Northfield/Nordonia) added 12 to round out the double-digit scorers for the Purple Raiders.
Malcolm Heard II scored 17 points to lead Wilmington which used a 20-2 run midway through the second half to eraseda 13-point Mount Union lead.
The Raiders tied the game at 56-56 on a free throw by senior Matt Kiger (Williamstown, W.Va./Williamstown) with 9:40 to play. Mount Union would stay within a basket for the rest of the way and a Gillespie layup with 46 seconds left brought the deficit to one, 69-68.
Mount Union would force a missed shot and get the rebound with 13 seconds to play after a time-out the Raiders missed a shot at the buzzer for the win.
Mount Union led by as many as 14 points in the first half before taking a 42-30 lead at the break.
Freshman Cody Dillon (Newton Falls/Newton Falls) gave the Raiders their largest lead of the game 15 points when he scored a fast break layup with 15:45 to go in the game to make the score 51-36 before the Quakers' run.
Tre Stennett scored a layup with 10:45 left in the second half which capped a 20-2 run by the Quakers to take a three-point lead at 56-53.
Senior Matt Kiger (Williamstown, W. Va./Williamstown) would tie the game at 56 for the Raiders as hit a free-throw to finish the and one play with 9:40 left in the game.
Mount Union will be the No. 4 seed in next week's OAC Tournament and host a second round game Tuesday at 8 pm against the winner of a first round game Monday between No. 5 seed John Carroll and No. 4 seed Otterbein at The MAAC.
The game will be the second half of a doubleheader as the Mount Union women host an OAC Tournament game at 6 pm. Tickets for the games will be sold at the door and are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, $3 for students and OAC students are FREE. No passes will be accepted for the games.
Newspaper Box Score
2013 OAC Men's Basketball Tournament
Monday, Feb. 18 - First Round
No. 8 Otterbein at No. 5 John Carroll, 8 pm
No. 7 Heidelberg at No. 6 Ohio Northern, 7:30 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 19 - Second Round
Ottebein/John Carroll winner at #4 Mount Union, 8 pm
Heidelberg/Ohio Northern winner at #3 Wilmington, 8 pm
Thursday, Feb. 21 - Semifinals
Otterbein/John Carroll/Mount Union winner at #1 Capital, 7:30 pm
Heidelberg/Ohio Northern/Wilmington winner at #2 Marietta, 7:30 pm
Saturday, Feb. 23 - Finals
Semifinal winners at highest remaining seed, 7:30 pm