By Tim Glon
NEW CONCORD — The Ohio Northern men's basketball team got off to a slow start and fell 64-52 at Muskingum on Saturday afternoon at the Steele Center.
The Polar Bears (4-9 overall, 0-6 Ohio Athletic Conference) fell behind 8-0 in the first 1:22 and trailed 41-15 with 3:40 left in the first half.
Northern stepped up its defense from there, holding MU to just 23 points in the final 23:40 of the game, but could get no closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
Senior All-American Ryan Bruns (Chckasaw/Marion Local) led Ohio Northern with 17 points and nine rebounds.
The Muskies (6-7 overall, 2-4 OAC) got 14 points each from Devon Peart and Jalen Paige.
Northern scored the final four points of the first half to pull within 47-27 at intermission, then scored the first eight points of the second half to complete a 12-0 run and make it 47-35 with 16:56 left in the game.
A 3-pointer by sophomore Colton Bachman (Piqua) got ONU within 60-50 with 6:27 to play.
The Polar Bears' defense would limit the Muskies to just four points the rest of the game, but the offense went scoreless for the next 6:16 before a layup by Bachman with 11 seconds left ended the scoring at 64-52.
Ohio Northern made 20-of-55 field goal attempts for 36.4 percent and were 5-of-24 from 3-point range for 20.8 percent, while Muskingum was 21-of-57 from the floor for 36.8 percent and made 11-of-36 three-pointers for 30.6 percent.
ONU out-rebounded MU 38-34, but lost the turnover battle 14-6.
The Polar Bears will return to action on Wednesday with a 7 pm contest at Baldwin Wallace.