Rushton scores 19, Bair 15 as Men's Basketball tops Muskingum 74-58

Rushton scores 19, Bair 15 as Men's Basketball tops Muskingum 74-58
By: Andrew Korba

ADA — Three Polar Bears scored in double figures to lead the Ohio Northern men's basketball team to a 74-58 victory over Muskingum Saturday afternoon at the ONU Sports Center.

ONU improves to 9-8 on the season and 5-5 in the Ohio Athletic Conference, while the Muskies fall to 6-11 overall and 3-7 in OAC play.

Sophomore Branden Rushton led Northern with 19 points, while freshman Adam Bair had a career-high 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

Senior Scott Schnell added 12 points for ONU.

Kyle Clinedinst led the Muskingum with 18 points and eight rebounds.

The Polar Bears opened up a 21-14 lead with just under eight minutes to play in the first half on a layup by Schnelle.

The Muskies would battle back to tie the game at 27 but a three-point play by Bair gave Northern a 30-27 lead heading into the break.

Muskingum would tie the game for the fifth time at 36-36 with 15:34 left to play, but ONU responded with an 8-0 run.

Rushton scored four points while freshman Lucas Pennington and Jordan Martin each scored a basket to give the Polar Bears the lead for good.

The Polar Bears would continue to expand their lead, using an 8-2 to take a 63-48 lead with 4:27 left to play.

A pair of free throws by junior Taylor Kulhman gave Northern a 69-53 lead, their largest of the game.

"Today was an overall good team victory," said head coach John Rhodes. "It was great to get everyone of the floor. All of these guys work so hard and it was a great effort they put forth today."

Ohio Northern dominated the rebounding battle, grabbing 36 compared to just 17 for Muskingum.

ONU also shot the ball well, going 27-of-50 (50 percent) from the field and 4-of-9 (44.4 percent) in 3-pointers.

The Polar Bears held a huge advantage in points in the paint, outscoring the Muskies 36-12.

Ohio Northern will be in action again on Wednesday with a road contest at Otterbein at 7:30 pm.