ADA -- The Ohio Northern men's basketball team fell in its OAC opener to Baldwin Wallace 72-68 on Wednesday evening at the ONU Sports Center.The Polar Bears fall to 2-3 on the season and 0-1 in the OAC, while the Yellow Jackets improve to 4-1, 1-0.
Senior Branden Rushton led ONU with a game high 18 points, going 7-of-12 from the field and a perfect 3-of-3 in three pointers.
Senior Dominique Royal added 14 points and junior Jordan Martin chipped in with 11.
Jaron Crowe and Kevin Krakowiak each scored 16 for BW.
A three pointer from Rushton with 4:16 to play cut the Baldwin Wallace lead to 65-64.
BW would respond and score the next five points, to build its lead back to 70-64 with 3:25 remaining.
On Northern's next possession, Royal earned a foul and knocked down both of his free throws to cut the Yellow Jacket lead to 70-66.
Both teams would be unable to score on their next two possessions.
Martin would force a steal and find Royal, who scored on a fastbreak to cut the BW lead to 70-68 with 1:30 to go.
The Yellow Jackets would come up empty on their next possession, but so would ONU.
Krakowiak just beat the shot clock and drained a jumper with 13 seconds to play to put the game away.
BW scored the first five points of the game to jump out to an early 5-0 lead.
The Yellow Jackets would push their lead to 17-10, but a layup from Royal and a three pointer from Martin cut the lead to 17-15.
ONU used another 5-0 spurt to cut the BW lead to 24-22 with just under seven minutes to play in the first half.
Royal would hit a jumper at the first half buzzer to make the score 36-29 in favor of Baldwin Wallace at the break.
The Polar Bears were 27-of-57 (47.4 percent) from the field and 5-of-13 (38.5 percent) from beyond the arc, while BW was 29-of-59 (49.2 percent) in shooting and was 7-of-18 (38.9 percent) in three pointers.
The Yellow Jackets held a slim 33-31 advantage in rebounding.
Ohio Northern will return to action on Saturday, when it travels to play John Carroll at 2 pm.