COLUMBUS, Ohio - - Sophomore Stevie Griffin (Canton/Massillon Jackson) scored a team-high 15 points and seven rebounds as the No. 4 Mount Union upset the No. 1 Capital 63-59 in an Ohio Athletic Men's Basketball Tournament Semi-final Thursday evening in the Capital Center.
With the win, Mount Union improves to 13-14 overall and advances to play the winner of the No. 3 Wilmington/No. 2 Marietta Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. at the highest remaining seed, while Capital ends the season with a 19-7 record.
This is the third time in school history that the Purple Raiders have advanced to the title game and the first time since the 2004 season.
Spencer Niekamp scored 21 points to lead the Crusaders.
The Raiders would get off to a quick start as they would take a 4-0 lead just over one minute into the game.
Spencer Niekamp would hit the first of his two three-pointers in the first half which capped a 13-3 run by the Crusaders to give them their biggest lead of the first half six points at 13-7 with 15:36 left in the first half.
Capital would hold the lead for the next nine minutes until senior Justen Little (Galion/Galion) scored a fastbreak layup off a great pass from Sophomore Nate Jacubec (Struthers/Struthers) to give the Raiders a one point lead at 21-20.
Daniel Ocke hit a three-pointer for the Crusaders to break a six minute drought to cut the Raiders leaders to two at 25-23.
Michael Sommer hit two free-throws to tie the game at 25 for Capital with 2:34 remaining in the opening period
Griffin would hit a three-pointer as the halftime buzzer sounded as the Raiders would take a 33-30 lead into the locker room.
Gillespie hit two free-throws to give the Raiders their biggest lead of the game 13 points to make the score 53-40 with 7:55 remaining in the game.
Niekamp would hit two free-throws which capped a 17-2 run by Capital to cut the Raiders lead to two at 57-55 with 2:02 remaining.
Mount Union would go six-of-six from the free-throw line in the last two minutes as they would go on for the 63-59 victory.