BEREA, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University men's basketball team split the season series with the University of Mount Union after a 79-69 victory on Seniors' Night, inside Ursprung Gymnasium in the Lou Higgins Center.
The Purple Raiders have lost four in a row here in Berea, including an 84-60 defeat in the playoffs in last years postseason. The last victory for Mount Union in Ursprung Gymnasium was an 80-79 victory on January 27, 2016.
BW (16-8, 10-7 OAC) had four in double figures led by senior two-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference guard Jay Battle (Gahanna/Lincoln) and junior Academic All-OAC guard Michael Quiring (Brunswick), who marked 16 points each. Junior forward Tyler Colombo poured in 13 and grabbed six rebounds, while sophomore guard Matthew Dimitrijevs (Broadview Hts./Brecksville-Broadview Hts.) tallied 11.
Mount Union (19-5, 13-4 OAC) was led by senior guard Tommy Stenger who recorded a game-high 19 points, while junior guard Nathan Bower-Malone and senior forward Diallo Niamke both scored 15.
Mount Union scored the first basket of the game and BW quickly tied it with a nifty no-look pass from sophomore guard Luke Schaefer (Medina) to Battle for the layup at 19:13. The Yellow Jackets established their first lead with senior guard Kyle Nader (Vermilion) splitting a pair of free-throws on their next possession and extended it to 6-2 off a Colombo three at 18:29. The Purple Raiders tied it up at six and then at eight off a Niamke jump shot at 17:05. From there BW went on a 16-6 run, capped off by a Dimitrijevs three to give the Yellow Jackets their first double-digit lead of the game at 24-14 with 11:50 left in the half. Mount Union split two free throws in their next possession and neither team would score for nearly three minutes until Quiring broke the scoring drought with a layup at 8:57, bringing the score to 26-15. The Purple Raiders cut the lead to 30-22 at 5:25 with a 7-4 run, capped off by a Niamke layup. Mount Union closed the half on a 10-8 run after a last second three from Bower-Malone and went into halftime trailing the Yellow Jackets 40-32.
The Yellow Jacket lead of eight remained the same over the first three and a half minutes as both teams scored four points to start the second half. Mount Union went on a 12-5 spurt to trim the lead to 49-48 with 9:14 left in regulation. With the score close and the Purple Raiders threating, the Yellow Jackets would not relinquish the lead as a Nader three at 8:17 broke the Yellow Jackets 0-9 drought from deep to start the second half, bringing the score 54-50. With a 7-4 run, Mount Union cut the lead to one once more of 58-57 with 6:21 left in the second half and the Yellow Jackets responded with a 15-6 run over the next four minutes to give them a double-digit lead of 73-63. Quiring caught fire scoring 12 of his 16 points in that span. Both squads scored six points in the final two minutes as BW came away with the 79-69 victory.
The Yellow Jackets are back in action on Saturday, February 16 when they travel to Otterbein University for the final regular season contest at 2 p.m.