ALLIANCE, Ohio-- The Mount Union men's basketball team, ranked No. 20 in the nation, extended its win streak to seven games with an 88-85 defeat of John Carroll in an Ohio Athletic Conference matchup Wednesday night at the MAAC.
Senior D'Vontay Friga (Cuyahoga Falls) came off the bench with a season-high 27 points as the Purple Raiders sweep the regular season series from the Blue Streaks and stay in first place in the conference at 15-3 overall and 10-1 in the OAC. Sophomores Collen Gurley (Akron / Hoban) and Braeden Poole (McDonald) also scored in double figures with 22 and 13 points respectively.
Jimmy Berger had 26 points to lead a John Carroll (12-6, 5-6 OAC) team that made just 7-of-23 three pointers after entering the contest 12th in the nation in the category averaging 11.5 made per game.
The Blue Streaks ran out to a 10-2 lead before Friga hit a pair of three's as part of a 9-4 run that saw John Carroll with a 14-11 lead seven minutes into the game. Friga hit a free throw just over three minutes later that gave Mount Union its first lead of the night at 19-18. Three lead changes and two ties over the next seven minutes saw John Carroll push out to a 41-33 lead but Mount Union would finish the period on a 7-2 run to trail 43-40 at the half.
Mount Union began the second half on a 14-4 run with Poole scoring eight of those points including a three with 16:37 remaining to give Mount Union a 54-47 lead. John Carroll came back with seven straight points to tie the game and the final 10 minutes saw six lead changes and four ties before Gurley gave the Raiders an 86-85 lead with 1:32 to play. Both teams got big blocked shots on the next two possessions and Gurley hauled down a defensive rebound on a John Carroll miss with 16 seconds left then went down and hit two free throws for the 88-85 final.
Mount Union goes on the road to play Ohio Northern, Saturday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. in Ada.