ALLIANCE, Ohio— The No. 7 nationally ranked and top seeded Mount Union men's basketball team defeated No. 5 seed Heidelberg 97-66 in the semifinals of the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament Thursday night at the MAAC.
The Purple Raiders improve to 24-3 overall along with tying the school record for consecutive victories at 16 and will host No. 3 seed John Carroll, an 86-79 winner over No. 2 seed Marietta, in the championship game Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at the MAAC.
D'Vontay Friga (Cuyahoga Falls) led the Raiders with 20 points and became the 33rd Raider to score over 1,000 points as he crossed the plateau with a three-pointer with 11:09 left in the game.
John Carroll (Massillon / Tuslaw) finished with a career-high 15 points and six rebounds, Braedon Poole (McDonald) had 14 points and 10 rebounds while Chris Painter Jr. (Akron / St. Vincent St. Mary's) had 10 to round out the doube digit scorers for Mount Union.
Tamal Watkins had 18 points for Heidelberg (12-15).
The Raiders never trailed as Collen Gurley (Akron / Hoban) hit a three to make it 12-5 after five minutes of play. Heidelberg rallied and got within one point of Mount Union with 11:31 left in the first half, but Mount Union eventually used a 16-7 run over the last five minutes to take a 45-31 lead into halftime.
Mount Union put the game away with a 10-2 run to open the second half and push the lead to 22 points. Heidelberg got no closer than 18 points the rest of the way.