CHICAGO, Ill. – In their final nonconference game of the year and first of three games this week, the Tigers played on the road against familiar opponent Robert Morris University (Ill.) on Monday, February 4. Olivet took to the Eagles early on, leading by 17 at the half and by 24 in the second half, eventually to trail by four. However, the Tigers regained their edge to win 83-81, their sixth in seven games. ONU and Robert Morris are former conference teams in CCAC Division I play and will be again next year in CCAC Division II.
The first half inched along for ONU (14-11) and Robert Morris (12-13), as neither team reached the 10-point mark until 13:35 on a Reid Farchmin (Mahomet, Ill.) lay-up. From there, the Tigers took control, finishing a 20-8 run at the 6:07 mark to lead by 15. The Eagles cut the deficit to 10 only a minute later to only give it right back to the Tigers over the next five minutes to end the half. ONU hit a three-pointer with two seconds remaining to stretch a 14-point lead to 17.
In the first half, Olivet shot 19-for-30 from the field (63.3 percent), 3-for-5 from the three-point line (60 percent) and 2-for-4 from the free-throw line (50 percent). They outrebounded the Eagles 20-9, had four offensive rebounds and committed 14 turnovers. Robert Morris shot 35.5 percent from the field, 27.3 percent from the three-point line and 50 percent from the free-throw line. The Eagles committed nine first-half turnovers and had two offensive rebounds.
As soon as the second half began, the Tigers turned up their energy. The score showed it when a 17-point lead became 20 at 18:33, then 24 by the 17:48, their largest of the game. ONU was able to keep a decent cushion of at least 14 points for the next nine minutes until Anthony Shoemaker made a lay-up off a steal to make it 69-57 with 8:45 to play. The bucket was two points of a 20-3 run over six and half minutes that helped Robert Morris tie the game at 70. They eventually took the lead with 3:52 to play and stretched to four-points with 2:44. However, ONU was able to take the lead right back on eight straights points — five from Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) and three from Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.). Olivet made their final five free throws to help win the game.
Senior Jake Boyce (Lockport, Ill.) led the Tigers with 18 points on 6-for-8 shooting from the field and 6-for-9 from the free-throw line. He added 10 rebounds and four assists in 31 minutes, good for his ninth double-double of the year.
Freshman Aaron Larson finished with 19 points on 9-for-14 shooting from the field and 1-for-5 from the free- throw line. He also had five rebounds in 29 minutes.
In his first game back after missing five because of an injury, sophomore Austin Davis finished with 11 points on 3-for-6 shooting from the field, 2-for-4 from the three-point line and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. He added two rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes.
Anthony Shoemaker led the Eagles with 18 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the field and 6-for-9 from the free-throw line. He added six rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes. Aubrey McAlpine finished with 19 points on 7-for-13 shooting, 3-for-7 from the three-point line and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line, and had two rebounds and five steals in 33 minutes. Kashaune McKinney added 17 points and four assists in 26 minutes.
Overall, the Tigers shot 32-for-52 from the field (61.5 percent), 4-for-10 from the three-point line (40 percent) and 15-for-27 from the free-throw line (55.6 percent). They outrebounded Robert Morris 33-23, committed 30 turnovers and totaled 22 assists, with seven offensive rebounds and eight steals.
Robert Morris shot 29-for-65 from the field (44.6 percent), 7-for-23 from beyond the arc (30.4 percent) and 16-for-24 from the free-throw line (66.7 percent). The Eagles had 15 assists, 14 turnovers, six offensive rebounds and 23 steals.
Worner has made 187 career three-pointers, good for seventh all-time. Worner is two behind Shane Davis for sixth (189). Also, with nine points against Robert Morris, Worner has 985 career points — only 15 shy of 1,000. If he reaches the 1,000 point milestone, he will become the 38th member of the ONU Men's Basketball 1,000-Point Club.
ONU will be back in action Wednesday, February 6, on the road against conference opponent Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.) at 7:30 p.m.