ALLIANCE, Ohio-- No. 11 ranked Mount Union defeated Heidelberg 93-80 to clinch at least a share of the Ohio Athletic Conference men's basketball regular season title and the No. 1 in seed in the OAC Tournament Saturday at the MAAC.
The Purple Raiders have now won 12 games in a row and stand at 20-3 overall and 15-1 in the OAC. It marks the fifth 20-win season in school history with four of them coming over the last seven seasons.
Before the game Mount Union honored its six seniors Nathan Bower-Malone (Stow), John Carroll (Massillon / Tuslaw), Marcus Day (Winchester / Eastern Brown), D'Vontay Friga (Cuyahoga Falls), Mo Johnson (Euclid / Villa Angela Saint Joseph) and Tanner Slack (New Concord / John Glenn).
Bower-Malone had a game-high 22 points and seven assists and Friga finished with a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead Mount Union. The Raiders also got 17 points from Collen Gurley (Akron / Hoban) and 14 from junior Logan Hill (Massillon / Jackson).
Tamal Watkins had 19 to lead three in double digits for Heidelberg (10-13, 8-8 OAC).
Heidelberg led early on 10-9 with 16:26 left in the first half until Mount Union scored 22 of the next 26 points and eventually led 53-35 at halftime. Friga and Gurley each had 10 in the first half to lead the Raiders.
Bower-Malone scored nine of the first 11 points in the second half for the Raiders in an 11-4 run to stretch the lead to 64-39. Mount Union got its largest lead of 31 points when Bower-Malone hit his two free throws to lead 72-41 with just over 13 minutes to play. Heidelberg rallied to get it to nine points, 86-75 with 2:17 remaining but not no closer as the Raiders closed the game out.
Mount Union hosts Baldwin Wallace in the regular season home finale, Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. at The MAAC.