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Men’s Basketball Advances to OAC Tournament Semifinals with Defeat of Mount Union

Jay Battle scored a career-high and game-high 29 points
(Photo courtesy of Jesse Kucewicz)
Jay Battle scored a career-high and game-high 29 points (Photo courtesy of Jesse Kucewicz)

BEREA, Ohio –The fourth-seeded Baldwin Wallace University men's basketball defeated the University of Mount Union in an Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament Quarterfinal game by a final score of 84-60 in the Ursprung Gymnasium inside the Lou Higgins Center.

BW (18-8) advances to the OAC Tournament Semifinals for the fourth straight season and will play top-seeded John Carroll University on Thursday, February 22 on Mike Moran Court inside the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center at 7:30 p.m.  Mount Union (13-13) ends its season.

The Yellow Jackets, who are now 10-3 all-time vs. the Purple Raiders in the OAC Tournament, had two players score in double figures led by junior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC guard Jay Battle (Gahanna/Lincoln) as he scored a career-high and game-high 29 points, including 17 in the first half. Senior All-OAC guard Cam Kuhn (Vermilion) poured in 18 points.  In addition, senior All-OAC forward Jake Fetherolf (Norwalk) grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds and rejected a game-best three shots.

With his 18 points, Kuhn now has 1864 career points and needs two points pass Hall of Famer Shawn McCormick in fifth place with 1,866 points and four points to pass Hall of Famer Kevin Braaten in fourth place with 1,868 points.

With his 29 points, Battle now has 986 career points and is just 14 points shy of becoming the 42nd player in school-history to score 1,000 career points.

Mount Union, who has not beaten BW in the OAC Tournament since the 2004 season, had two players score in double digits led by senior All-OAC guard JJ Kukura as he scored 17 points. Senior guard Miles Griffin added 11 points.

The Purple Raiders jumped out to 4-1 lead on a jumper by sophomore guard Nathan Bower-Malone at the 18:18 mark.  The Yellow Jackets responded with an 8-0 run to take a 9-4 lead on a triple by Battle at 16:31. BW pushed the lead to 18-9 when Fetherolf knocked down a trey at the 10:16 mark.  The Yellow Jackets kept things rolling as Fetherolf hit another three-pointer to extend the lead to 25-13 at 8:02.  BW outscored Mount Union, 19-15 down the stretch to hold a 44-28 lead at halftime.

The Purple Raiders opened the second half on a 5-0 run to cut the lead down to 44-33 on a triple by Kukura at 19:11. The Yellow Jackets responded with a 9-0 run to extend their lead to 53-33 when sophomore guard Michael Quiring (Brunswick) converted the traditional three-point play at 15:53.  Mount Union cut the lead down to 55-41 when Kukura knocked down a pair from the charity stripe at 12:00.  BW went on 15-5 run to extend its lead to 70-46 when senior forward Mike Kaminski (Medina) hit a triple at the 7:46 mark.  Each team scored 14 points down the stretch.

The OAC Tournament championship game will be contested on Saturday, February 24 on the campus of the highest remaining seed at 7:30 p.m.