WESTERVILLE, Ohio – Men’s Basketball welcomed the No. 10-ranked Mount Union Purple Raiders to a rowdy Rike Center on Saturday afternoon for a Senior Day celebration. The two sides exchanged gut punches throughout, but the visitors ultimately escaped in the final seconds, 63-61.
The Cardinals wrap up the regular season with a record of 17-7 overall and 11-6 in Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) action. They will be the No. 4 seed in next week’s OAC Tournament and host Baldwin Wallace come Tuesday night.
WHAT WENT DOWN:
- Mount Union built a big lead early, quickly jumping out to a 12-3 lead, but the Cards answered with a 10-2 run.
- After Justin Carter’s third triple-hit of the half, Otterbein found themselves ahead 29-25, but the visitors fought back to close the half on a 9-6 run… ultimately taking a 34-31 lead into the break.
- Another Purple Raider run opened the second half, a 6-1 margin stretching over the first six minutes of the half.
- The Cards finally recorded their first field goal of the half when Carter corralled an offensive rebound and found Jake Justice on the wing for a huge three.
- With the visitors ahead by 11 and the Cards on the ropes, Dallas Patrick drove into the paint, where he drew a foul that led to a technical foul and another massive momentum swing that resulted in a 13-5 Cardinal run.
- Mount Union took its final timeout with the score deadlocked at 61-6 after a Cam Evans driving layup knotted it.
- The Raiders got the ball to Christian Parker in the post out of the timeout, and saw their big man hit a turnaround jump shot with just 1.3 seconds to go. The ensuing inbound went to Carter, whose beyond half-court heave hit the backboard and bounced off the rim.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- Mount Union’s Parker, who hit the eventual game-winner, was the game’s leading scorer with 23 points off the bench.
- Three Cardinals eclipsed double-digits. Evans led the charge with a team-high 15 off the bench (including nine of Otterbein’s last 13 over the final 6:17) while Carter added 13. Reid Black missed a double-double with 11 and 9.
- Mount Union shot just 3 of 20 from behind the arc.
- A combined 50 points were scored off the bench.
- The Cardinals are 6-3 in games decided by two possessions or less this season. They have also protected their home court with a record of 10-3, with the three losses cpming by a combined total of 13 points.
- The Cardinals will welcome BW for a quarterfinal showdown as part of a men’s and women’s doubleheader, with start time to be determined. Stay tuned for more details!
COURTESY OTTERBEIN ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS