ADA - Anthony Gholson said basketball is a game of character, not characters.
The Heidelberg coach saw his team display some character Wednesday night at Ohio Northern, as the Student Princes rallied from a 19-point deficit to stun the Polar Bears, 82-74.
Once again, Dane Givner was key. The Ohio Athletic Conference Player of the Week had 19 points and six rebounds, and had a key offensive rebound late to help secure HU's win.
With Heidelberg leading Ohio Northern 75-74 with 1:42 remaining, HU's Nate Davis corralled an offensive rebound off an Ishaam Smith miss and was fouled.
Davis made the first free throw but missed the second. Luckily for 'Berg, Givner chased down the board, and the Student Princes milked about 30 seconds off the clock before Davis went to the rim and scored a layup to put his team up 78-74 with 1:16 left.
Gholson said Givner's offensive rebound was huge.
"Nate's struggled a bit from the line, Dane anticipated him missing (the free throw)," Gholson said. "It was one of those senior moments. That was the key."
Heidelberg finished the game on a 9-0 run, winning its third-consecutive OAC game and moving to 8-6, 3-4.
In the first half, Gholson said ONU was playing man-to-man defense, and Heidelberg struggled with it. In the final minutes before the break, the Polar Bears switched to zone, and HU got hot.
"One of the things is, they went to a zone; it gave us a chance to run around without being hounded," he said.
Heidelberg finished the first half on a 13-0 run.
Talk about closing.
"The kids are battlers," Gholson said. "They're resilient."
Nate Davis had another double-double, with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Smith had 15 points, Keith Mackie had 13, and Jackson Blue had 11.
Mackie, who played for Tiffin University last year, was 3 of 3 from 3-point range in his second game with HU.
Ohio Northern (7-7, 3-4) was led by Taylor Kuhlman, who had 17 points, nine rebounds.
Gholson, an ONU graduate, said it was a big night for Heidelberg's players.
"If you can go down 19 on the road and come back in this league," he said. "It's a testament to (your) character."