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Cardinals win over Ohio Northern gives Reynolds his 650th win, stops seven-game skid

Press release & photos courtesy of Otterbein University

 

WESTERVILLE, OHIO – Junior Tommy Waterwash buried a three-pointer with 17.4 seconds remaining to help lift the Otterbein University men’s basketball team to a thrilling 68-66 come-from-behind victory over visiting Ohio Northern University Wednesday in the Rike Center.

Head coach Dick Reynolds

The win snaps a seven-game losing skid for the Cardinals and gives head coach Dick Reynolds his 650th career victory. Reynolds, in his 40th year at the helm, announced earlier this week that he will retire at the conclusion of the season. He becomes just the seventh coach in NCAA Division III history to amass 650 victories.

Senior Brice Rausch also hit a career milestone, scoring a team-high 14 to reach the 1,000 point plateau for his career.

“It’s exciting,” Rausch said of reaching the scoring milestone. “Not a lot of people get to say they’ve done that in their career, so it’s a great accomplishment. Coach kept telling me to go to the hole early on, and from there I just let everything come to me.”

“It was great in the locker room after the game,” Rausch continued. “Everyone was congratulating coach and you could just really feel the energy.”

Senior Brice Rausch

The 68-66 score was Otterbein’s only lead of the second half, as the Cardinals erased two 11-point deficits down the stretch.

“It’s no secret that we’ve been disappointed, because we expected a much better year coming off of last season,” Reynolds said. “The real problem we’ve had is inconsistency, and one of the biggest albatrosses has been perimeter shooting. Chris Davis has been good inside and Zack Bakenhaster came in with confidence tonight, but in this conference you have to be able to shoot the basketball and combat the triple-play. We found some balance tonight, and that’s what we’ve been working for.”

Ohio Northern led 54-43 as the game clock ticked under ten minutes, but Otterbein wouldn’t allow the Polar Bears to run away. Waterwash connected on consecutive corner jumpers to bring Otterbein within 57-52, and the Cards later clawed to within a possession after another bucket from Waterwash, this one being a three-pointer with 3:45 left to play.

Ohio Northern clung to a 66-62 lead with 90 seconds remaining until Waterwash drilled a trifecta from the top of the key, pulling the Cards to within one point.

Otterbein regained possession after a missed Polar Bear free-throw, and Waterwash struck again from nearly the same spot to put his team ahead for good. ONU would come up empty during its final possession.

“This is such a big team win for us, I can’t even talk enough about that,” said Waterwash, who scored all 13 of his points in the second half to match a career high. “It was great that coach kept coming to me throughout the game. I was horrible early on, but I was able to find more open looks down the stretch and those fell for me.”

Senior Chris Davis grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, and narrowly missed the 1,000 mark himself as his 13-point effort leaves him at 999 for his career. He also had an impressive five steals.

Junior Zach Bakenhaster turned in perhaps his best game of the season, posting nine points and eight rebounds while going 4 of 5 from the field.

Branden Rushton scored 17 points to lead Ohio Northern, which made 7 of its 16 three-point attempts. Otterbein shot .300 (3 of 10) from long distance, with Waterwash accounting for all three makes.

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