Student Princes drop 7th straight OAC?game

Heidelberg didn’t get out of its own way Wednesday in a 76-68 loss to Ohio Northern at Seiberling Gymnasium.

The improving Polar Bears played well, turning a one-point halftime lead into a 15-point second half advantage, before fending off a late HU charge.

Heidelberg didn’t play well, despite shooting 29-of-51 from the floor and winning rebounding, 29-25.

The keys were in two departments: Turnovers and foul shooting.

The Student Princes (9-13, 4-11 Ohio Athletic Conference) committed 19 miscues against a Northern team that – for the most part – didn’t press. HU also struggled again from the foul line, making just 4 of 11 throws.

“We had the LeBron James Syndrome when we’re at home,” Heidelberg coach Anthony Gholson said. “We give the ball to Nate [Davis], we give the ball to Dane [Givner] and everybody else just stands there and watches.”

Davis, who was coming off a pair of dominant games that saw him net a total of 40 points and 40 rebounds, was off. He scored nine points and had six rebounds, and turned the ball over five times. Givner scored 13 points and had six rebounds. Josh Pollner came off the bench to go a perfect 6 of 6 from the floor for 12 points, and Ishaam Smith parlayed a strong first half into a team-best 14 points.

And yet, Heidelberg rarely seemed in the game in the second half.

Part of that was Ohio Northern, which made 17 of 30 shots from the floor in the second half, and made each of its first 19 free throws in the game.

Then there was the Polar Bears defense. Ohio Northern coach Kevin Byrne said it was huge to limit Davis.

“With a guy like him, the only shot you have is to not let him get going,” Byrne said. “Once he does, it’s gonna be too late…we really wanted to surround the ball on (Heidelberg) and make them try to have to find tough passes out of the post. And that worked tonight.”

In addition to that, ONU’s Branden Rushten had 17 points, going over 1,000 points for his career.

Rushten said the game was fun for the Polar Bears, who improved to 11-11, 7-8.

“There’s nothing more fun that putting the ball in the basket,” he said. “You play better on defense when the ball’s going in the hoop.”

The Polar Bears’ Dominique Raoyal led all scorers with 20 points, while Jared Horstman (17 points) and Lucas Pennington (12 points) also scored in double figures.

As for Heidelberg, it suffered it seventh consecutive loss.

Gholson said the Student Princes weren’t aggressive enough. He said Heidelberg had a size advantage, it just didn’t utilize it.

“You’ve got to be in beast mode,” Gholson said. “You’ve got to beast [inside] and just score. These dudes are not big. Just go in there and score.”