Men's Basketball: Raiders Back in Win Column; Mount Union 79, Ohio Northern 71

Nathan Bower-Malone (Photo by Ed Hall Jr.)
Nathan Bower-Malone (Photo by Ed Hall Jr.)

ALLIANCE, Ohio – Mount Union's men's basketball team shook off a cold start to beat Ohio Northern 79-71 in an Ohio Athletic Conference game Saturday at the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex.

The Purple Raiders extended their home court win streak to 13 games dating back to last season and improved to 15-4 on the season and 9-3 in the OAC.

Mount Union got 20 points from Nathan Bower-Malone (Stow), D'Vontay Friga (Cuyahoga Falls) had 11 and Tommy Stenger (North Canton / Hoover) finished with 10 points.

Ryan Bruns had a game-high 28 points and nine rebounds to lead Ohio Northern (4-15, 0-12 OAC).

Mount Union had made just six of its first 16 shots over the game's first 10 minutes but was down just 15-12. The Raiders then scored seven straight points – a Diallo Niamke (Sagamore Hills / Nordonia) layup, a three-pointer by Collen Gurley (Akron / Hoban) and a jumper from Tanner Slack (New Concord / John Glenn) that made it 19-15 and sparked a 15-2 run that gave Mount Union a 27-17 lead with 4:27 left in the period. A Bower-Malone make with just under a minute left in half pushed the lead to 13 points, 38-25, before Mount Union took a 10-point lead, 38-28 at the break.

Mount Union pushed the lead to as many as 18 points, 66-48, on a Slack layup with 7:45 to play before Ohio Northern tried to rally with a 14-3 run to get back within seven points, 69-62 with four minutes to go. The Raiders then scored six of the next eight points to put the game away and go on to the 79-71 win.

The Raiders play four of their next five games on the road staring Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. against Muskingum in New Concord.