Tiffin, OH - After a disappointing loss the previous night, the Purple Raiders rallied to knock off Heidelberg by a score of 67-61 and regained control of their destiny in the Ohio Athletic Conference regular season title race.
Mount Union came out swinging out of the gates in the first half against the Student Princes and quickly built up a double-digit point lead in the first few minutes of the game. The early push by the Raiders was fueled by a pair of back-to-back, ridiculous 3-point shots from Collen Gurley (Akron, OH/Archbishop Hoban HS) that seemed to be straight out of a video game. Heidelberg managed to draw back within single digits when Seth Homan (Clyde, OH/Clyde HS) knocked down a 3-point shot with 12:52 left in the opening half but the very next possession, Mount Union’s Adam Chaney (Carrolton, OH/Carrolton HS) responded with a 3-point shot of his own to push the Raider lead back to double digits. From that point on, the Raiders continued to build their lead and went to the locker room with an 18-point lead (46-28).
The second half was a different story however. after halftime, the Student Princes fought back and gave the Raiders a run for their money. The Student Princes slowly but surely ate away at the Raiders lead over the first seven minutes of the second half and cut the Raiders’ lead to eight points thanks to a pair of free throws from Eric Panning (Columbus, OH/Westland HS). Roughly five minutes later, Heidelberg managed to take their first lead of the game when Nahki Taylor (Columbus, OH/Groveport Madison HS) hit a 3-point shot with 8:14 left in the game to put Heidelberg up 57-55. Gurley responded a minute later with a 3-point shot to regain the lead for good and put Mount Union up 59-57. From that point, the Raiders closed the game on an 8-4 run and held off the Student Princes. The Raiders were led by Gurley and his 18 points (15 of which came from 3-point shots). Heidelberg was led by Dylan Woods (Cincinnati, OH/Cincinnati Christian HS), who scored 20 points in the loss.
With the win the Raiders improved to 6-1 and moved back into a tie for first place in the OAC with Heidelberg (6-1). Next up for Coach Fuline and his crew will be a two-game series against Marietta College (5-1) on February 19, 2021 at home in the friendly confines of the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex and February 20, 2021 in Ban Johnson Arena in Marietta, OH. The home game versus Marietta will have coverage on 91.1 WRMU starting just before tipoff (7:00 PM).