ALLIANCE, Ohio--Mount Union's men's basketball team defeated Heidelberg 87-85 in an Ohio Athletic Conference thriller Saturday, afternoon at McPhearson Academic and Athletic Complex. The victory marked the ninth straight win for Mount Union on the season.
The Purple Raiders (9-1, 5-0 OAC) were led by freshman Collen Gurley (Akron/Hoban) who finished with a season-high 23 points. Junior D'Vontay Friga (Cuyahoga Falls) chipped in with 18 points while fellow classmate Nathan Bower-Malone (Stow) recorded 11 points.
Heidelberg (1-5, 1-2 OAC) was led by Myron Prewitt who finished with 44 points.
Friga started the game for the Purple Raiders scoring 13 straight points with three consecutive field goals from long range. Heidelberg battled back shrinking the Purple Raider lead to 35-32 with 6:36 left. Mount Union closed out the half with a quick 7-2 run to hold a 51-43 lead into the intermission break.
The Purple Raiders shot 19-of-29 (65.5%) from the floor and 10-of-17 (58.8%) from behind the arc. Heidelberg shot 16-of-33 (48.5%) from the field and 5-of-15 (33.3%) from behind the three-point line.
Heidelberg made a quick 5-0 run to start the second half forcing a Purple Raider timeout. The Student Princes kept the score close as the Purple Raider lead shrank to 75-72 with 3:33 remaining. At the 2:24 mark, freshman Mario Caywood (Streetsboro/Benedictine) sank a layup to extend the Purple Raider advantage. Heidelberg hit a clutch three-pointer with four seconds left to take the first lead of the game. Gurley went the length of the court and netted a layup and free throw to clinch the victory for Mount Union.
Mout Union went 12-of-33 (36.4%) from the field and 10-of-17 (58.8%) from the charity stripe. Heidelberg finished 13-of-31 (41.9%) and 10-of-10 (100%) from the free throw line.
The Purple Raiders will host the Mount Union Holiday Classic on December 28 and 29. The first game of the tournament is set for 7:30 p.m. as Mount Union takes on Trine (Ind.).