Men's Basketball: Mount Union Locks Up OAC Title With Win at Marietta; Raiders First Title Since 1997
MARIETTA, Ohio -- Mount Union's men's basketball team locked up the Ohio Athletic Conference regular season title with an 81-77 victory Wednesday at Marietta.
It is the Purple Raiders first conference title in 17 years (1996-97), 10th title in school history and second-ever 20-win season overall (20-4, 15-2 OAC).
The win also secures Mount Union the No. 1 seed in next week's conference tourney. The Raiders have a double bye to a semifinal game on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 7:30 pm at the MAAC in Alliance.
Marietta falls to 18-6 overall and 13-4 in the OAC but with Wilmington's 88-85 overtime loss to Ohio Northern, the Pioneers are the No. 2 seed in the OAC Tournament and also has a double bye to Thursday's semifinals.
The game featured 14 lead changes and seven ties and the final of those lead changes came when Mount Union put together a decisve 13-5 run capped by five straight points from Nate Jacubec (Struthers/Struthers) that gave the Raiders a 70-60 lead with 4:48 to play.
The Pioneers, who led 43-40 at the half, came back with a 13-5 run of their own to close the score to 75-73 in the final minute but Mount Union went 6-of-6 from the line to put the game away.
T.J. Gillespie (Toledo/Toledo St. John's) led Mount Union with 16 points, Jacubec finished with 14 while Jeff Foreman (Mentor/Mentor) and Kyle Scelza (Stow/Stow) came off the bench with 14 and 10 respectively.
Garrett Stephenson had a game-high 17 points as one of four in double figures for Marietta.
Mount Union finishes the regular season Saturday at 3 pm at Wilmington.