Quakers fall at Ohio Northern
WC still in hunt for No. 4 tournament seed
February 15, 2012
R.J. Leppert and the Quakers lost at Ohio Northern. (John Swartzel photo)
ADA — An 11-3 spurt in the closing minutes helped Ohio Northern pull away from Wilmington College and hand the Quakers a 73-64 setback in Ohio Athletic Conference action Wednesday night.
The Quakers are now 10-7 in the OAC, 12-11 overall. Ohio Northern moves to 8-9 in the conference, 12-12 for the season.
Wilmington head coach K.C. Hunt said his team struggled to recover from its Feb. 11 overtime loss at John Carroll.
“It was Senior Night for Ohio Northern and they had a lot of energy. I thought we kind of had the post-John Carroll blues. We didn’t execute well enough to beat a good team,” Hunt said. “We just have to move forward. It’s definitely all hands on deck time.”
Malcolm Heard II (Wilmington) and Antonio Bowman (Columbus/Whetstone) combined for 16 first-half points as the Quakers led by as many as five points before the Polar Bears rallied to tie the game at 33 at the break.
Bowman hit a pair of jumpers and Heard slammed home his 21st dunk of the season as Wilmington took a 39-35 lead early in the second half.
Wilmington kept the lead until Ohio Northern went up, 43-42, at 13:12.
The game was tied at 43, but the Polar Bears scored eight of the next 10 points to go up, 51-45, at 9:14.
Bowman and Ben Vonderhaar (Cincinnati/Colerain) scored to move the Quakers within two, but ONU scored seven unanswered points to lead, 58-49, at 6:06.
The Quakers got within four when Brandon Candella (West Chester/Lakota West) scored at 2:39, but a 7-0 Ohio Northern run sealed the deal.
Bowman scored 17 second-half points to finish with game-high 23. Heard and Candella added 15 and 11 points, respectively.
Baldwin-Wallace’s loss at Mount Union Wednesday kept the Quakers and Yellow Jackets in a fourth-place tie. Wilmington will play its regular-season finale at Otterbein Saturday night while Baldwin-Wallace will close at home against Ohio Northern.
On the strength of their regular-season sweep of Baldwin-Wallace, the Quakers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Yellow Jackets. The No. 4 seed will enjoy a first-round bye in next week’s OAC Tournament while the No. 5 seed will host a first-round game Feb. 20.
“The unfortunate thing is we could be playing for a share of the conference title when we take the floor Saturday,” Hunt said. “We are fortunate, though, to be in position to control our own destiny and get a four seed. We need to, as a team, play with the kind of energy that makes us a very good basketball team.”