ADA — Sophomore Branden Rushton tied his career high by scoring 24 points, but the Ohio Northern men's basketball team could not overcome a 21-point second half deficit as they fell to Baldwin-Wallace 70-65 Saturday afternoon at the ONU Sports Center.
Northern falls to 8-7 overall and 4-4 in the OAC while B-W improves to 9-6 overall and 4-4 in league play.
Rushton scored 15 of his 24 points in the second half and was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line.
Senior Scott Schnelle scored 11 points while sophomore Jared Horstman finished with 10 for ONU.
Kyle Payne led all scores with 19 points while Ben Umbel posted a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds to pace B-W.
The Yellow Jackets came out red-hot, shooting 16-of-26 (61.5 percent) from the field and 7-of-9 (77.8 percent) in 3-pointers to build a 41-22 halftime lead.
B-W would take its largest lead of the game at 46-26 with 16:24 left to play.
ONU responded with a 10-0 run.
Senior Tony Meyer and Rushton each scored three points, while junior Taylor Kuhlman and freshman Isaiah Rioux each scored two points in the run to pull within 56-46 with 13:21 to play.
B-W would then respond with a quick 6-0 run in 18 seconds to push their lead back to 52-36 with 12:40 remaining.
Northern would continue chipping away and two Schnelle free throws put Northern down 56-48 with just over eight minutes to play.
The Polar Bears would inch closer cutting the deficit to 57-52 with 6:41 on a jumper by Rushton.
Schnelle would drain a jumper with 1:47 left to bring the Polar Bears to within four at 63-59, but Baldwin-Wallace would make 7-of-8 from the charity stripe in the final minute of play to ice the game.
ONU was 21-of-58 (36.2 percent) in shooting but struggled shooting the three ball, going just 2-of-13 (15.4 percent).
The Yellow Jackets shot 24-of-42 (57.1 percent) from the field and was a solid 9-of-14 (64.3 percent) from beyond the arc.
The Polar Bear defense was tough all day forcing 25 turnovers, with 16 of them coming in the second half.
Northern also made 17 straight free throws during the game, finishing 21-of-24 (87.5 percent) from the line.
Ohio Northern will be in action again on Wednesday when they welcome Capital to the ONU Sports Center at 7:30 p.m.