Heidelberg coach Anthony Gholson put his elbow on the table, made a fist and let out a scream.
It wasn't a scream of frustration, though Gholson certainly was frustrated after his team lost to Mount Union, 89-75.
What Gholson was describing was the intensity he feels his team needs to play with, and the intensity it failed to play with in the first half. He said the Student Princes' lack of energy was why they shot a chilly 29 percent (10 of 34) in the first half.
"(We) came out with no energy and no effort," Gholson said. "So when that happens you settle [for jumpers] because that's as close as you can get to the basket. If you don't have the veins sticking out of your neck ... you don't have that, you can't get close to the basket."
Mount Union went on a 7-0 run to end the first half, and went into the locker room up 41-28. Then, the Purple Raiders (7-10, 5-5 Ohio Athletic Conference) returned to the court and picked up right where they left off. They went on a 8-2 run, and took a 51-30 lead after a Taylor Moore layup with 16:39 left in regulation.
Moore came off the bench to lead all scorers with 20 points.
"I thought the first four minutes of the second half, ultimately, is what got us the win," said Mount Union coach Mike Fuline said. "We always want to win those four minutes. We preach it, we talk about it ... that was big."
Mount Union had four players score in double figures, shot better than 54 percent (26 of 48) from the floor and went to the foul line 42 times, making 31.
And yet, Fuline gave the most credit to a player who finished with just one point.
Senior guard Justen Little had the unenviable task of guarding HU's Dane Givner, but held the latter to just four first-half points.
"Ultimately, this game goes to Justen Little," Fuline said. "He won't look great in the box score, but he has the ball in his hands, he plays 34 minutes against a team that's pressing us up and down. Guard's Dane for about 20 of those minutes, just a special kid."
Little had two steals and one assist, numbers that paled in comparison to teammates Cody Dillon (16 points, six rebounds), Nate Jacubec (16 points) and Steve Griffin (14 points, 7 rebounds). But the defense was key. Heidelberg went on several runs, getting the Purple Raiders' advantage down to seven after a 3 by Quintin Aden 3 with 8:01 left.
But Mount Union always answered, and pulled away
"It was a lot of missed assignments. We just focused on that one moment, like if we scored, we scored," Heidelberg (9-8, 4-6) forward Nate Davis said. "But then we've got to get back into play, and realize we have to get back on defense."
Davis had a big game offensively for Heidelberg, scoring 21 points to go with nine rebounds, both team highs. Givner had a solid second half, finishing with 14 points, four assists and four steals, but he was limited to 27 minutes due to foul trouble. Jackson Blue had nine points and six rebounds.