ALLIANCE, Ohio - Mount Union's men's basketball team defeated Neumann University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday night in the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex in Alliance.
The Purple Raiders (23-6) were led by Jarrett Ruffin (Northfield/Nordonia) with a game-high 19 points including a couple of highlight dunks during the game. Stevie Griffin (Canton/Massillon Jackson) knocked down five three-pointers en route to a 17 point game.
Cody Dillon (Newton Falls/Newton Falls) scored all of his 14 points in the first half, DeAllen Jackson (Akron/Archbishop Hoban) scored 11 points and Nate Jacubec (Struthers/Struthers) scored 10 points to land every Mount Union starter in double figures.
Neumann (17-11) was led by Denzel Yard with 11 points. James Butler and Andrew Moye scored 10 points each in the loss.
Mount Union jumped out to an 13-6 lead in the first four minutes of the game. The Raiders led by eight points, 18-10, before Neumann went on a 7-1 to cut the lead to two points.
The Raiders stretched the lead to 11 points with a 10-2 run to lead 38-27 with 5:02 left in the half. The Knights responded by trimming the lead to six points but Mount Union ended the half on a 7-1 run to lead 47-35 at the half.
Mount Union continued its run by starting the second half on a 20-12 run to take a 20 point lead, 67-47, with 13:27 left in the game. Neumann could get no closer than 14 points the rest of the way. The Raiders put the finishing touches on the game with a 12-0 run to push the lead to 30 points with 1:30 remaining.
With the win Mount Union's men's basketball team advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament at 7:00 pm in Alliance against Calvin (Mich.), who was a 78-69 winner over Oswego State.