By Tim Glon
ADA — The Ohio Northern men's basketball team opened its 108th season of varsity basketball on Monday with a 99-61 victory over against area-rival Defiance at the ONU Sports Center.
The Polar Bears (1-0 overall) got 20 points and nine rebounds from senior Ryan Bruns (Chickasaw/Marion Local) to lead five players in double figures in scoring.
Freshman Daniel Unruh (Elida) scored 14 points, senior Daniel Donner (Bellville/Northmor) and junior Austin Allemeier (Elida) added 11 points each and sophomore Colton Bachman (Piqua) scored 10 points off the bench for ONU.
The Yellow Jackets fall to 0-2 and were led by Malachi McClain with 16 points off the bench.
Ohio Northern raced to an 13-0 lead, holding the Yellow Jackets scoreless for 5:31, and did not trail in the contest.
Defiance rallied to within 19-15 with 10:42 left in the half, but ONU went on a 16-1 run to take a 42-23 lead with 3:45 left in the half.
A three-pointer by senior Grant McConnell (Fremont/Ross) with 11 seconds left in the half gave the Polar Bears a 50-28 lead at intermission.
A basket by sophomore Gunnar Gregory (Centerburg) gave ONU its largest lead of the night at 97-57 with 2:19 to go.
In all, 14 different player scored for Ohio Northern.
"I thought our youth played well around our seniors tonight," ONU head coach Rich Bensman said. "We had some young guys show us some really good things. They played hard and were good on defense. We are still trying to find our identity, but this was a good performance to open the season."
ONU made 34-of-63 field goal attempts for 54.0 percent and were an even 10-of-20 from 3-point range, while DC made 21-of-64 field goals for 32.8 percent and were 6-of-25 from three for 24.0 percent.
The Polar Bears will return to action on Saturday when they host Denison in a 2 pm contest at the ONU Sports Center.