WESTERVILLE — Sophomore Branden Rushton scored a game-high 17 points, but Otterbein scored the game's final seven points to edge Ohio Northern 68-66 in an Ohio Athletic Conference men's basketball game Wednesday night at the Rike Center.
The Polar Bears fall to 9-9 overall and 5-6 in OAC play, while the Cardinals improve to 6-12, 3-8.
Senior Scott Schnelle added 12 points for Ohio Northern.
Brice Rausch, Chris Davis and Tommy Waterwash led OU with 14, 13 and 13 points, respectively.
Northern got a pair of free throws by sophomore Jared Horstman and a pair of 3-pointers by freshman Jordan Martin to take a 47-36 lead with 13:22 left in the game.
OU chipped away and pulled within 60-58 with 4:28 to play in the game on a basket in the lane by Davis.
A three by freshman Adam Bair extended Northern's lead to 63-58 at the 4:06 mark.
Leading 63-61, a basket by Rushton and a free throw by Schnelle gave ONU a 66-61 lead with 2:20 to play.
But the Cardinals would out-score the Polar Bears 7-0 down the stretch to win the game.
A three-pointer by Tommy Waterwash brought OU within 66-65 with 1:23 to go and another three by Waterwash gave Otterbein a 68-66 lead with 17.4 seconds to play.
Rushton had a chance to tie the game, but missed a runner on the left baseline, but the rebound went out of bounds off the Cardinals with 1.1 seconds left, giving ONU a second chance to tie the game.
After a time out, Northern inbounded the ball to Schnelle, but his contested shot on the low block rimmed out and OU escaped with the win.
The Polar Bears made 23-of-48 field goals for 47.9 percent, while Otterbein made 28-of-62 field goals for 45.2 percent.
OU out-rebounded ONU 37-28 behind a game-high 11 boards from Davis.
The game was the first for the Cardinals since legendary head coach Dick Reynolds announced his retirement at the end of the season earlier this week. In his 40th season at Otterbein, Reynolds has amassed a 650-421 record.
OU's Rausch eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau for his career in the game. In four seasons at Otterbein, Rausch has scored 1,006 points.
Davis just missed reaching the milestone as well, as his 13-point effort gives him 999 for his career.
The Polar Bears will return to action on Saturday with a 2 pm contest at John Carroll.