Men’s Basketball: Raiders Knock Off Nationally-Ranked Capital for Share of OAC Title

(Photo by Sam Boyle)
(Photo by Sam Boyle)

ALLIANCE, Ohio -- Mount Union's men's basketball team clinched a share of the Ohio Atheltic Conference regular season title after beating No. 16 ranked Capital 91-71 Saturday at the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex.

The Purple Raiders finish the regular season 20-5 overall and 14-4 in conference play to claim their 11th overall OAC title and first since the 2013-14 season. Mount Union also did not lose at home this season and have a 15-game win streak dating back to last season.

Five different Raiders tallied double-digit point totals as senior Andrew Francesconi (Tallmadge) collected 16 points, junior D'Vontay Friga (Cuyahoga Falls) finished with 14, senior Tommy Stenger (North Canton/Hoover) recorded 12 while junior Nathan Bower-Malone (Stow) and freshman Collen Gurley (Akron/Hoban) each added 11 points apiece.

Capital (19-6 14-4 OAC) was led by Austin Schreck who scored a game-high 27 points. The Crusaders also get a share of the regular season title and they will be the No. 1 seed in next week's OAC Tournament.

The Raiders began the game with a quick 7-2 lead. Capital battled back to narrow the gap to five at 15-10. Mount Union would extend their lead with a 17-8 run with five minutes left in the half. A 6-0 run for Capital cut the Raider advantage to 32-24. The Raiders closed out the half with an 11-3 run to go into the locker rooms up 43-27.

Both teams came out of the intermission break trading basket for basket with Friga scoring five straight points to give Mount Union a 53-34. The Raiders pushed the margin to 64-48 off a layup from Gurley. Capital would get as close as 17 with three minutes left in regulation before Mount Union went on to the 91-71 victory.

It marked the twelfth game of the season that Mount Union shot at least 50-percent from the floor as they went 33-of-54 (12-of-26 from long range).

Mount Union will be the No. 2 seed in the OAC Tournament and host No. 7 seed Heidelberg in a quarterfinal game next Tuesday, Feb. 19 at the MAAC.