ALLIANCE, Ohio--Mount Union's men's basketball team collected its first Ohio Athletic Conference win of the season to improve to 5-1 and 1-0 in OAC play after beating Baldwin Wallace 76-66 Tuesday night at the McPhearson Academic and Athletic Complex.
Four Mount Union starters finished with double-digit point totals as the Purple Raiders were led by junior D'Vontay Friga (Cuyahoga Falls) who tallied a season-high 28 points. Senior Diallo Niamke (Sagamore Hills/Nordonia) recorded 17 points, junior Nathan Bower-Malone (Stow) finished with 15 points while senior Tommy Stenger (North Canton/Hoover) rounded out the Raider scoring with 10 points and five rebounds.
Baldwin Wallace (3-2, 0-1 OAC) was led by Michael Quiring who recorded 19 points.
The Purple Raiders jumped to a quick 12-6 advantage to start the first half. Baldwin Wallace came back to score 14 unanswered points and take a 20-12 lead with 9:43 left. Mount Union rattled off a fast 9-0 run to take a one-point margin with 5:35 remaining in the half. Bower-Malone sank a layup to give Mount Union a 29-28 lead heading into the intermission break.
The Purple Raiders shot 12-of-25 (48%) from the field and 3-of-6 (50%) from behind the arc. Baldwin Wallace shot 13-of-27 (48%) from the floor and 2-of-9 (22.2%) from behind the arc.
Mount Union continued the momentum as Friga scored seven unanswered points to open the half. At the 10:36 mark, freshman Mario Caywood (Streetsboro/Benedictine) made a layup to push the Mount Union lead to 48-39. Three consecutive layups for the Purple Raiders gave Mount Union a 62-50 advantage with 3:22 left in regulation. In the closing minutes, Mount Union sank clutch free throws to cruise to a 76-66 victory.
The Purple Raiders shot 14-of-26 (53.8%) from the floor and 17-of-20 (85%) from the charity stripe. Baldwin Wallace went 11-of-27 (40.7%) from the field and 8-of-16 (50%) from the free throw line.
Next Up, the Purple Raiders continue OAC play traveling to Ohio Northern on Saturday, December 1 with a 2 p.m. tip-off time.