The last team to beat Mount Union in Alliance walked back in Wednesday night. Baldwin Wallace won the OAC tournament at the MAAC last year, to go to the national tournament. Mount Union passed another test as the Raiders (21-3) defeated Baldwin Wallace (13-11) 83-73.
The Raiders appeared to be a little tired out of the gates. Baldwin Wallace found easy layups on switches well into the second half. The usual suspects on offense couldn’t get things going and the team walked into halftime down 36-32.
“I mean, we were playing lazy.” Said sophomore guard Collen Gurley “We practiced great on Monday and coach said we didn’t look the same as we did Monday. When it came to the second half, we kicked it into gear and never looked back.”
Coach Fuline’s defense adjusted, shots fell, and thus began a trading of blows. Tanner Slack and Braedon Poole hit a pair of threes to finally give Mount Union a 38-36 lead to open the second half. The game found itself tied at 67 when the Raiders went on an 11-4 run to finish.
“We changed our tempo and energy, coming out and hit a couple threes in a row is huge.” Said senior sixth man D’Vontay Friga who had 16 points and 6 rebounds “We got some stops, but the second half was all energy our way.”
The Raiders sealed up complete ownership of the regular season OAC title with the win. The actual OAC tournament begins next Tuesday night, but Mount Union must face Capital on the road Saturday.
“We’re winning everything,” said point guard Nathan Bower-Malone, who is averaging career highs in points and assists “Once we get out there and think we’ll coast, that’s when we get lazy and create bad habits.”