D’Vontay Friga’s hand wrapped, Collen Gurley running on fumes, an 86-85 lead, and every bucket being answered is where the Raiders sat with 1:30 left. Mount welcomed their OAC rival John Carroll Wednesday. Despite the situation, the Raiders found a way to squeak out a 88-85 win.
Collen Gurley played every single minute of basketball possible in this game. The sophomore guard finished with 22 points and seven rebounds, which included a final rebound and free throws to push the Raider’s one point lead to three. While Gurley didn’t touch his career high in points, Gurley’s career high in minutes was needed for his effort filled defense.
John Carroll was lead again by the Burger brothers. Ryan and Jimmy Burger have been staples of the John Carroll basketball program for years. The twins trade off hot streaks and big games constantly, but this game held more meaning with the Carroll struggling at 12-5. With Ryan having a better year, the Raiders pressed defense on the senior, allowing Jimmy to take advantage. Jimmy Burger finished with 26 points and 7 rebounds while his brother Ryan had 15 points and four rebounds.
D’Vontay Friga was key in kick starting the Raider offense. After beginning the game down 10-2, Friga entered and knocked down two three-point shots to begin the back and forth. This game saw both teams trade buckets and the lead, with Friga staying consistent in that offensive battle. The senior sixth man finished with 27 points on 10-14 shooting, including six threes. After the game Friga identified the importance of his role.
“I think for a game like this, it’s an advantage for me to come off the bench. Collen and Nathan can’t be hot all the time. I know it’s important for me bring the energy. I feel like if the first group is struggling, it’s important for me check in and bring the energy.”
The Raiders won earlier this year at John Carroll 96-79. With a big win on the road, a game like this seemed awkward. Friga identified that feeling after the game.
“We won, OAC league games mean something at the end of the year. Maybe awkward is the right word, but a win is a win.”
The Raiders move to 15-3 while the Blue Streaks fall to 12-6. Mount Union will be back in action this Saturday against Ohio Northern. Next week the Raiders will be at home Wednesday and Saturday against Muskingum and Otterbein. Both games can be heard on 91.1 WRMU and the Mount Union live stream.