Quakers fall to Ohio Northern
Polar Bears post 64-60 win
January 11, 2012
Ben Vonderhaar (at left) scored six points and collected three rebounds in Wilmington's loss to Ohio Northern.
The jab was working, but the knockout punch was nowhere to be found as Wilmington College was edged, 64-60, by Ohio Northern at Fred Raizk Arena Wednesday night.
The Quakers are now 5-3 in the OAC, 6-7 overall. Ohio Northern moves to 4-3 in the conference, 8-6 for the season.
“I thought we had several opportunities in the second half to take control of the game and cruise to a ‘W’,” Wilmington head coach K.C. Hunt said. “We just didn’t execute well enough, and we had some breakdowns in the last 8 minutes of the game that would have given us that opportunity. It was the one big shot, the one big stop that we needed to get the momentum, but we weren’t able to do it tonight.”
Ten turnovers hurt the Quakers in the opening half as Ohio Northern led by as many as six points. Wilmington’s bench, led by Miles Bankston (Cincinnati/Walnut Hills) and Dwight Johnson (Dayton/Jefferson), helped the Quakers stay close, and a 3-pointer by R.J. Leppert (Liberty Township/Lakota East) knotted the score at 25 as the teams headed to the halftime locker rooms.
“Our bench definitely supplied us with energy and effort tonight,” Hunt said. “I thought our effort, as a whole tonight, was fantastic. It’s our execution and mental toughness that we need to work on to close out these games.”
The Quakers pressed the issue in the second half and appeared to be on the verge of creating some daylight. When Tim Pfeiffer (Clinton/Akron Manchester) assisted a Bankston lay-in at 7:12, Wilmington led, 48-44.
Over the ensuing 4 minutes, Wilmington managed just a pair of free throws as Ohio Northern took a 52-50 lead.
Antonio Bowman (Columbus/Whetstone) buried a trey at 2:49 to tie the game at 55, but the Polar Bears scored seven unanswered points to pull away and hand Wilmington its third home conference loss of the season.
“All losses hurt, especially when you put yourself in a position to win the game. We just didn’t make plays at the end. I still like this basketball team. It’s going to be a crazy league. Four or five losses are going to win it. We just need to stay together, stay positive and keep working every day to get better. I know this team is going to do that. I still expect us to do some great things in the second half of the season,” Hunt said.
Brandon Candella (West Chester/Lakota West) scored 12 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Bowman added 14 points and six assists. Bankston and Johnson scored eight points apiece.
The Quakers will host Otterbein at 3 p.m. Saturday.