WILMINGTON, Ohio - The Wilmington College men's basketball team overcame an eight-point halftime deficit to defeat Ohio Northern University (ONU) 93-84 in Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) action on Wednesday evening.
Neither team led by more than one possession until Colton Bachman made consecutive three-pointers with the score tied 22-22 to put ONU up on eight. Despite Wilmington getting within a single possession on multiple occasions, the visitors ended the first half up 50-42.
The Polar Bears maintained a slim lead as the second half began, but the Wilmington defense began to cause problems. Consecutive triples from Will Patrick gave the Quakers a 61-58 lead with 12:45 to play and a ONU turnover the followed led to a DaeShawn Jackson layup and a five-point advantage for the hosts. Leading 65-60, Wilmington forced four turnovers in the next four minutes that fueled a 14-6 run that gave the Quakers a 13-point edge (79-66) with seven minutes to play.
The Polar Bears, who lost at Hermann Court 95-77 last season, got within nine points on two occasions but could get no closer as the Quakers held home court with the victory.
"I'm really proud of our guys for turning it on in the second half," Head Coach K.C. Hunt said. "I was disappointed with our effort and intensity coming out, but when you give up essentially 29 points in the second half, that's the difference in the game."
ONU shot 58.7 percent (27-of-26) from the field along with 7-of-17 (41.2 percent) from distance and 23-of-29 (79.3 percent) from the free throw line. Wilmington countered with 48.5 percent (32-of-66) from the field, 13-of-30 (43.3 percent) from distance and 16-of-23 (69.6 percent) from the charity stripe.
Individually, Kevin Lewis finished with 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting along with four rebounds, three assists and four steals. Andrew Russell, Abdul Kanu and Patrick also finished in double figures in scoring.
Ryan Bruns led the Polar Bears with 20 points and eight rebounds in defeat.
"[Ryan] Bruns is a load who's going to score in any game," said Hunt. "I thought we did a great job of making his day difficult."
Wilmington improves to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the league with the victory, the program's best start since the 2009-10 campaign. The Quakers host the University of Mount Union for a 3 p.m. contest on Saturday.