WILMINGTON, Ohio - The Wilmington College men's basketball team did not trail the entire game in a convincing 95-77 victory over Ohio Northern University in Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) action at Hermann Court on Wednesday evening.
The victory was the Fightin' Quakers' third straight OAC victory and first win over the Polar Bears since the 2015-16 season.
"I thought we gave a tremendous team effort tonight," Head Men's Basketball Coach K.C. Hunt said. "We gave ourselves a great chance to win the game by competing on both ends [of the floor]."
Wilmington opened the game by hitting three-pointers in its first two possessions as Nathan Scott and Andrew Russell both dialed up from distance. The Quakers would extend their lead to nine (15-6) on another Scott triple at the 16:02 mark of the first half.
ONU tied the game a minute-and-a-half later on a three-pointer from Joey Diorio, but the game would remain tied for exactly 13 seconds as Kevin Lewis nailed a long-distance jumper on the next possession to put the hosts back on top by three. The Polar Bears would not have an answer for the Quakers' outside shooting as four more three-pointers fell in the first half en route to a 44-37 Wilmington lead at halftime.
The halftime break would not slow the Quakers torrid shooting pace down as Wilmington opened up a 19-point lead (73-54) when a Christian Jones' three-pointer connected at the 9:47 mark. ONU would get as close as 13 points (82-69) three minutes later, but it was the Quakers' defense that sealed the victory as the visitors shot just 9-of-25 (36 percent) from the field in the second half.
"Our initial shot defense has been pretty good all year, its second-shot defense that has killed us," said Hunt. "We really competed on the glass tonight and during our three-game winning streak."
Wilmington finished 31-of-62 (50 percent) from the field including 14-of-29 (48.3 percent) from beyond the three-point arc compared to 24-of-53 (45.3 percent) from the field for ONU and 9-of-24 (37. 5 percent) from distance. The Quakers assisted on 22 of their 31 made baskets and committed just 11 turnovers in the game.
"We are sharing the ball, and our spacing is much better," Hunt said. "It gives our guys like Nate [Scott], Christian [Jones], Will [Patrick] and so many others the opportunity to create for themselves and our team. We have a lot of willing passers on this team, and it makes us both dangerous and difficult to guard."
Scott finished with 23 points on 7-of-13 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and four assists. Christian Jones added 18 points and five assists while Jordan Jones, Russell and Patrick also scored in double figures. D.J. Iles led the squad with seven assists.
Ryan Bruns led all scorers with 28 points for ONU in defeat. Bruns became the 38th Polar Bear to score 1,000 career points.
Wilmington, which has won three consecutive OAC regular season games for the first time since midway through the 2013-14 season, travels to the University of Mount Union for a 3 p.m. game on Saturday.