BEREA, Ohio – Senior forward Drew Sova (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) scored a career-high 24 points, grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds and tallied his ninth career double-double, but it was not enough as the fourth-seeded Baldwin Wallace University men's basketball team fell to fifth-seeded Heidelberg University, 75-69, in an Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament quarterfinal game in the Ursprung Gymnasium inside the Lou Higgins Center. Despite the loss, the Yellow Jackets had their school-record ninth straight winning season.
In addition to Sova for BW (14-12), who still leads the all-time series versus the Student Princes, 80-47, senior Academic All-OAC guard Zach Cebula (Brunswick) tallied 11 points off 4-of-5 shooting, including 2-of-3 from three-point range, and senior forward Alex Nahra (Mayfield) had in 10 points off 4-of-5 shooting. He also snagged six rebounds.
Heidelberg (12-14) was led by senior guard Tamal Watkins who registered a game-high 30 points, including 19 in the second half. Sophomore guard Emmanuel Purdue scored 19 points, including 12 in the second half, and senior guard Josh Dixon scored all 10 of his points in the second stanza.
The two teams came out the gate evenly matched as they exchanged the lead five times and were tied four times in the first eight minutes. With the score tied at 12-12, the Yellow Jackets went on a 12-5 run to grab a 24-17 advantage at the 7:51 mark. The run was fueled by two old-fashioned three-point plays, one from senior forward Tyler Colombo (Strasburg/Tuscarawas Central Catholic) and the other by Sova, who had 18 of his 24 markers in the first half. BW closed the half with a 14-7 run and headed into the locker room with a 38-27 lead.
After BW grabbed its largest lead of 14 points at 43-29 with 18:02 left on threy by freshman guard Anthony Mazzeo (Canton/Jackson), the Student Princes had a 16-4 spurt the trim the Yellow Jacket lead to 47-43 with 13:02 left. Heidelberg tied the game up at 62-62 at the 5:54 mark with a 19-15 run. Mazzeo answered back with a corner three to put BW back up 65-62 at 5:28, but that was the last lead of the game for BW.The Student Princes scored four unanswered points to take a 66-65 advantage, their first lead since the 13:34 mark in the first half. Heidelberg then scored the next five points in to take a commanding, 71-65 advantage with 1:41 left. Nahra made two free-throws after an offensive rebound to put the score to 71-67 with just over a minute left in the game. The Student Princes came back down and nailed a mid-range jumper to extend the lead to 73-67. The Student Princes held off the Yellow Jackets in their final possessions and took the 75-69 victory.