WILMINGTON, Ohio – An always-hungry Otterbein men’s basketball team ordered a six-piece nugget Wednesday night on the road, incorporating a variety of sauces and staying in their bag to secure a critical 76-66 triumph over host Wilmington.
As a result, the surging Cardinals have now won six games in a row and achieve the most single-season victories since the 2004-05 campaign. Otterbein (17-6, 11-5 OAC) likely secures a home game in the upcoming league tournament and still remains just one game out of third place.
Otterbein also sweeps the season series with Wilmington after a narrow 63-61 decision last month in Westerville, where Cam Evans made a go-ahead layup in the closing seconds.
WHAT HAPPENED THIS TIME:
- Otterbein fell behind after a few minutes, but quickly embarked on a 17-4 run approaching the midway portion of the first half. That effort settled the Cards into an early 19-11 advantage.
- Wilmington only trailed by seven with 3:09 to play before the break, but Otterbein closed the frame on a 9-2 run to assume a two-touchdown lead.
- The Quakers got back within single digits after opening the second half on a 9-3 run. However, Otterbein thwarted any significant momentum from the hosts to remain 4-5 possessions ahead across the 10:00 mark.
- Wilmington eventually clawed within six, 60-54, entering crunch time… but the battle-tested Cards responded with a 7-0 run to create enough separation down the stretch.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- The 45 points before intermission marked the third-highest total in a half this season for the Cards, who were coming off 51 points in the second frame against Heidelberg over the weekend.
- Otterbein has scored more than 70 points in each game of the winning streak, winning three by double digits.
- Evans led four Otterbein players in double figures with 17 points off the bench, helping the Cards post a 35-6 scoring edge from reserves.
- Wilmington standout Jeffery Mansfield flirted with a triple-double by finishing with 22 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. He only shot 4 of 14 from the field but went 14 of 18 at the free-throw line.
- Otterbein shot 49% for the game while limiting the hosts to just a 34% output. Wilmington was 8 of 32 in the first half.
- Alex Hannah had nine points and six boards for the Cardinals, making all four shots from the field.
COURTESY OTTERBEIN ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS