Alliance, OH - It was business as usual for the Purple Raiders on Saturday night when they hosted Otterbein in the friendly confines of the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex.
The Raiders entered the game fresh off an 89-72 victory over the Cardinals the previous night and sporting a perfect 4-0 record.
The Cardinals, on the other hand, entered the game having only played one game after issues with COVID-19 protocols forced the team to cancel their first four games.
Otterbein managed to hang with the Raiders for a good portion of the first half. Mount Union found themselves unable to jump out to a double-digit lead until Collen Gurley (Akron, OH/Archbishop Hoban HS) knocked down a jump shot with 7:53 left in the opening half. Even then, the Cardinals continued to keep the Raiders from going on runs longer than a few points for the next few minutes before allowing a few longer runs that saw the Raiders build their lead up to 17 points. With 20 minutes in the books, the Raiders went to the locker room holding onto a 47-30 lead.
Coming out of halftime, the Raiders kept the train rolling and never let up. In the second half, Mount Union never led by less than 12 points and managed to push their lead above 20 points on multiple occasions. The biggest moment of excitement came with 6:39 left in the game when Darrell Newsom intercepted a pass from Dallas Patrick (Gahanna, OH/Wellington HS) and finished on the other end with a strong one-handed dunk. When the final whistle was sounded, Mount Union went down the stairs to the locker room with a 99-73 win in hand.
With the win, the Raiders improved to 5-0 on the season and remain in a tie with Heidelberg (5-0) for first place in the Ohio Athletic Conference. Otterbein, on the other hand, dropped to 0-2 on the season. Coach Fuline and his troops will be back in action on February 12, 2021 when they host Heidelberg (7:00 PM tipoff) in the MAAC. There will be coverage on 91.1 WRMU starting just before tipoff.