ADA, Ohio-- The Mount Union men's basketball team, ranked No. 20 in the nation, extended its win streak to eight games with a 75-63 victory against Ohio Northern in an Ohio Athletic Conference matchup Saturday at the ONU Sports Center.
The Purple Raiders improve to 16-3 overall and 11-1 in the OAC and sits alone at the top of the OAC with Marietta's 67-54 loss at John Carroll.
Mount Union senior D'Vontay Friga (Cuyahoga Falls) had a game-high 21 points and nine rebounds in his first start of the season to lead four Raiders in double figures. Senior Nathan Bower-Malone (Stow) had 20 points, sophomore Collen Gurley (Akron / Hoban) finished with 14 while sophomore Braedon Poole (McDonald) had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
C.J. Napier had 18 points to pace Ohio Northern (6-13, 2-10 OAC).
A back and forth beginning saw Friga scored seven of the Raiders first 13 points as Mount Union led 13-11 after six minutes of play. Mount Union opened the lead to 18-13 with 11:09 left in the first half thanks to a jump shot made by junior Andrew Carbon (Struthers). Bower-Malone gave the Raiders their largest lead of the half when he made a jumper making the score 32-26 and Mount Union led 32-28 at the half.
Mount Union connected on its first six shots of the second half making a run of 15-8 to take a 47-36 lead with 16:28 left in the game. Ohio Northern rallied over the next 10 minutes to tie the game at 55. Gurley scored four quick points to spark an 8-0 Mount Union run to push the lead out to 63-55 with four minutes to play. Mount Union then put the game away with a 10-4 surge capped by a pair of Friga free throws to make it 73-59 with 55 seconds left.
Mount Union returns home to face OAC opponent Muskingum Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. in Alliance.