ELGIN, Ill. – With the aid of great play off the bench; tallying 39 points, 25 rebounds, and seven assists, the ONU men’s basketball defeated conference opponent Judson University (Ill.) handily 82-56. Olivet played the Eagles on the road in their final game before Christmas break. The win moves the Tiger’s record back to .500 after two straight wins.
It took a while for the Tigers (7-7, 5-5) to gather any steam in the first half. The Tigers trailed the entire game until the 11:06 mark when Zach Wagner (Roselle, Ill.) made a jumper. ONU never trailed again the rest of the game. From that point forward the Tigers stretched their lead to six after five more minutes and eventually made it nine with 2:35 remaining, outscoring the Eagles (2-12, 2-8) 20-10 over the nine-minute period. However, Judson closed the gap to a seven-point deficit at halftime with a Anthony Ahlers lay-up with 31 seconds remaining.
In the first half, Olivet shot 16-for-35 from the field (45.7 percent), 2-for-8 from the three-point line (25 percent) and 1-for-1 from the free-throw line (100 percent). They outrebounded the Eagles 27-12 and committed eight turnovers. Judson shot 36.4 percent from the field, 17.6 percent from the three-point line and 50 percent from the free-throw line. The Eagles committed three first-half turnovers and had five offensive rebounds.
In the second half, the Tigers took control early going on an 18-6 in the first seven and a half minutes of play in the half only allowing six points. ONU extended their lead to 25-points at the 11:16 mark, and held a 24-point lead only two minutes later. However, Judson made a little run to cut the lead to only 16 with 5:59 to play but it wasn’t enough as the Tigers went on a 10-4 over the three minutes to go up 22. The Tigers largest lead was the final score, 82-56.
Senior Ben Worner (Washington, Ill.) led the Tigers with 12 points on 4-for-11 shooting from the field, all four makes coming from behind the three-point line. He added six rebounds and two assists in 27 minutes.
Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.) finished with 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting from the field and 2-for-3 from three-point line. He also had three rebounds and five assists in 31 minutes.
Freshman Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) finished with 11 points on 4-for-9 shooting from the field and 3-for-5 from the free-throw line. He also had three rebounds in 21 minutes.
Senior Jake Boyce (Lockport, Ill.) finished with six points, 10 rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes.
Off the bench, Torey Laferney (Flint, Mich.) had six points and eight boards. Freshmen Jordan Clevenger (Avon, Ind.) had eight points and seven rebounds and Zach Wagnerhad 13 points and three boards. Sophomore Matt Ryan (San Diego, Calif.) chipped in with 10 points and four rebounds.
Turner Schwarz led the Eagles with 14 points on 4-for-10 shooting from the field and 3-for-7 from the three-point line, and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. He added one rebound in 20 minutes. Anthony Athlers finished with 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting and eight rebounds in 27 minutes. Luke Pearson added eight points and Luke Labedzki had seven points off the bench.
Overall, the Tigers shot 36-for-68 from the field (52.9 percent), 6-for-16 from the three-point line (37.5 percent) and 4-for-9 from the free-throw line (44.4 percent). They outrebounded by Judson 52-21, committed only 15 turnovers and totaled 21 assists, and had 19 offensive rebounds.
Judson, meanwhile, shot 22-for-61 from the field (36.1 percent), 6-for-28 from beyond the arc (21.4 percent) and 6-for-8 from the free-throw line (75 percent). The Eagles had 12 assists, nine turnovers, seven offensive rebounds, and three steals.
Worner has made 152 career three-pointers, good for 12th all-time. Worner is five behind Josh Bronke for 11th (157).
ONU will return to action following Christmas break on Thursday, January 3 against Purdue University-Calumet (Ind.) at home starting at 7:30 p.m.