WILMINGTON, Ohio - C.J. Napier and Brandon Waugh combined for 47 points to lead Ohio Northern University (ONU) to a 95-86 victory over the Wilmington College men's basketball team on Friday evening. The Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) contest at Hermann Court marked the first WC athletics event in over 10 months.
The game began with a rather torrid score pace with both teams scoring 13 points in the first five minutes. A quick 7-0 run by ONU gave the visitors an advantage it would hold until a Jeffery Mansfield layup tied the game 27-27 midway through the first half. Neither team would lead by more than five points until the Polar Bears scored seven of the final 10 points to lead 54-59 at the break.
ONU, thanks in large part to Napier, Waugh and Landen Long, grew its lead to a dozen (65-53) at the 16:16 mark. The Fightin' Quakers' deficit would stay around double digits, though not grow any further, until the hosts made a run in the final five minutes. Spurred on by Mansfield and Noah Dado, Wilmington got back within six points with four minutes to play. Napier converted a layup at the 2:11 mark to push the Polar Bear lead back to 88-81, but a Jackson Todd triple from the wing got WC within four.
Unfortunately, ONU made its free throws down the stretch to seal its first win over Wilmington in five games.
The Polar Bears finished 32-of-58 (55.2 percent) from the field to go along with 4-of-12 (33.3 percent) from distance. The Quakers countered with a 30-of-67 (44.8 percent) from the field and 8-of-28 (28.6 percent) from beyond the three-point arc. Both teams struggled form the charity stripe, converted roughly two-thirds of their free throw attempts. Rebounds were also deadlocked at 34 each.
Alongside Napier and Waugh, Long finished 5-of-6 and scored 17 points for the Polar Bears.
Wilmington had four individuals score in double figures – Hunter Ruckel, Matt Smith, Todd and Dado – along with Mansfield's 21 points. The junior from Wilmington also dished out a career-high eight assists while Todd and Dado grabbed eight and seven rebounds respectively.
The Quakers (0-1) will face ONU in Ada tomorrow (Saturday) at 6 p.m.