By Tim Glon
ADA — Senior Nate Burger (Dayton/Alter) became the 39th member of Ohio Northern's 1,000-point club in spectacular fashion, leading ONU to an 85-74 overtime victory over Baldwin Wallace on Wednesday evening at the ONU Sports Center.
The Polar Bears improve to 14-6 overall and are 9-4 in Ohio Athletic Conference play, while the Yellow Jackets fall to 14-6, 8-5.
Burger scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half and overtime and overcame a 1-for-10 start to reach the 1,000-point for his four-year career.
He surpassed the 1,000-point plateau with a huge 3-pointer with 1:26 left in overtime to cap a 10-0 run and give the Polar Bears a 79-71 lead.
Junior Ryan Bruns (Chickasaw/Marion Local) scored a team-high 29 points and grabbed six rebounds, senior Joey DiOrio (Columbus/Watterson) added 15 points and freshman Brandon Waugh (Columbus/Northland) had five points and a career-high 10 rebounds for ONU.
BWU was led by Cam Kuhn with 29 points and Jake fetherolf with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The Yellow Jackets were in control early, using a 23-2 run to take a 25-9 lead with 4:41 left in the first half. Northern made just 1-of-16 field goal attempts and scored just two points in a 13:16 span during that run.
Bruns hit a 3-pointer coming out of halftime to trim the deficit to 37-25, but BW would push the lead to 51-35 with 14:11 to play in the game.
Northern responded with a 22-6 run over the next 8:39 and a layup by Burger tied the game at 57-all with 5:32 to play.
A basket by Bruns would give ONU a 65-62 lead with 1:02 to play, but Kuhn would tie the game at 65-65 with a 3 with 47 seconds to go to send the game into overtime.
Michael Quiring would hit a 3-pointer to put the Yellow Jackets ahead 71-69 just 1:34 into the extra period.
That's when the Polar Bears would take control with a 10-0 run.
Two free throws by Burger tied the game at 71 and two Bruns free throws gave ONU the lead for good at 73-71 with 2:29 to go.
Bruns got a 3-point play at the 1:52 mark to make it 76-71 and Burger hit his dagger 3-pointer and got to the 1,000-point mark for his career to make it 79-71 with 1:26 left.
Burger now has 1,001 points in 84 career games.
Kuhn made three free throws to get within 79-74 with 41 seconds left, but DiOrio would ice the game by making six consecutive free throws in the final 34 seconds.
"We were much better in the second half and overtime," ONU head coach Rich Bensman said. "We guarded better, we ran our offense better and we did the little things better. BW out-played us in the first half but we responded after halftime.
"I'm very happy for Nate to get his 1,000th point. He had a rough start shooting the ball tonight, but stayed with it and made some big shots at the end."
After a 4-for-21 start from the floor, Ohio Northern made 26-of-40 to finish the game 30-of-61 on field goals for 49.2 percent. ONU was 6-of-19 from three-point range for 31.6 percent and made 19-of-22 free throws for 86.4 percent.
BW was 25-of-74 from the floor for 33.8 percent and was 12-of-44 from 3-point range, for 27.3 percent.
Northern won the rebounding battle 42-37.
The Polar Bears will return to action on Saturday with a 2 pm contest at Muskingum.