ADA, Ohio -- Mount Union's men's basketball lost 86-82 in an Ohio Athletic Conference matchup with Ohio Northern in Ada on Saturday afternoon.
The Purple Raiders dropped to 6-2 voverall and 2-1 in the OAC with the loss while Ohio Northern advances to 5-2 overall and 3-0 in the OAC.
The Purple Raiders were led by sophomore Nathan Bower Malone (Stow/Stow) who poured in a career-high 25 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Fellow sophomore D'Vontay Friga (Cuyahoga Falls/Cuyahoga Falls) and junior Tommy Stenger (North Canton/Hoover) also scored in double figures as they posted 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The first half was led by Friga who had 10 points off the bench to steady the Raiders. The Raiders struggled out of the gate as the Polar Bears jumped out to a 9-0 lead until Tanner Slack (New Concord/John Glenn) got Mount Union on the baord with a layup which was the start of a 10-2 run for the Raiders. Ohio Northern held the lead for most of the half until a Friga three point basket with 4:14 left in the half gave Mount Union their first lead at 29-28. The teams traded baskets all the way up until the score was tied at 40 where John Carroll (Massillon/Tuslaw) made two free throws to end the half and push the Raiders to locker room up 42-40.
Ohio Northern came out of the locker room in the second half with a 10-6 to tie the game at 50 just five minutes into the half. A 15-2 Polar Bear run over four minutes pushed the Polar Bear lead to 68-55 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game. The Raiders answered with a 15-4 run of their own capped off with a Bower-Malone old-fashioned three point play to make the score 72-70 in favor of the Bears with 2:39 remaining in the game. When the Polar Bears pushed the lead to 81-74, Andrew Francesconi (Tallmadge/Tallmadge) nailed a three point basket to cut the lead to four with 16 seconds remaining. Ohio Northern continued to make free throws down the stretch to put the game away for the Polar Bears.
Mount Union shot just 42 percent from the floor (25-of-60) while Ohio Northern shot 46 percent on 28-of-61 shooting on the afternnon.
The Raiders will next host Heidelberg on Saturday, December 16th at 2 p.m. in the McPherson Acadeic and Athletic Complex.