By Scott Beaton
ADA — The Ohio Northern men's basketball team notched an Ohio Athletic Conference victory over Muskingum on Saturday afternoon, winning 72-66 inside the ONU Sports Center.
ONU improves to 5-8 overall and 1-5 in the OAC while MU drops to 7-6 overall and 2-4 in the OAC.
Sophomore Brandon Waugh (Columbus/Northland) netted 17 points, including a clutch fadeaway jumper plus the foul to extend the ONU lead to 69-64 with 51 seconds remaining.
Freshman Landen Long (Mason) also scored 17 points for the Polar Bears.
Senior Austin Allemeier (Elida) put in 11 points while containing the country's second-leading scorer, Marcus Dempsey. Allemeier held Dempsey to just one shot attempt in the final 5:07.
Northern was hot from the tip-off, opening on an 8-0 run before gaining its largest lead of the afternoon on a free throw by freshman Adam Scott (Wapakoneta), 27-14 with 9:11 to go in the first half.
The Muskies rallied to cut the lead to 29-26, but ONU closed the half on a quick 7-3 run to lead 36-29 at the break.
Muskingum took a 41-39 lead three minutes into the second half. The teams exchanged leads before Long made a pair of free throws with 12:34 left, giving ONU a 51-50 edge.
The Polar Bears led the rest of the way, keyed by Waugh's and-one jumper with 51 seconds to go to lift Northern to a five-point lead. Northern converted 3-of-5 free throws down the stretch to ice the game
ONU was 25-for-59 (42.4%) from the field and 9-for-25 (36.0%) from 3-point land. MU went 26-for-64 (40.6%) from the floor and 7-for-30 (23.3%) from distance
Ohio Northern will host Baldwin Wallace on Wednesday at 7 p.m.