Men's Basketball: Raiders Fall to Polar Bears Despite Career-High From Bower-Malone

Nathan Bower-Malone (Photo by JT Higgins)
Nathan Bower-Malone (Photo by JT Higgins)

ALLIANCE, Ohio -- Mount Union's men's basketball team lost 73-66 to Ohio Northern in an Ohio Athletic Conference matchup Saturday at the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex.

The Purple Raiders (9-8, 5-5 OAC) were led by sophomore guard Nathan Bower-Malone (Stow) who scored a game-high and career-high 33 points.

The Polar Bears (12-5, 7-3 OAC) had three players score in double digits led by junior center Ryan Bruns  as he scored 30 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. Senior point guard Nate Burger tallied 21 points and senior forward Joey DiOrio tallied 14 points.  

The first half featured seven lead changes and six ties but Mount Union made an 8-0 run late in the half capped by a Andrew Francesconi (Tallmadge) three-pointer to give the Raiders a 32-27 lead with 2:05 left. Mount Union ended up taking a 36-31 lead in to the lockers at halftime.

A slow start to the second half found Mount Union getting its first field goal of the period on a Bower-Malone three-pointer to lead 41-38 with 15:23 left. Ohio Northern would score 11 of the next 16 points over the next five minutes and reclaimed the lead on a Bruns three-pointer with 10:44 remaining.

Mount Union rallied to tie the game two more times and took the lead on a Bower-Malone three, 63-62, with 2:42 left but Northern came right back on the next possession and took the lead on a Burger three and never trailed the rest of the way.

The Raiders return to action next Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. in an OAC game at John Carroll.