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2013-11-08 ONU holds on for overtime win over Cincinnati Christian in season opener
2013 Aaron Larson (2)

Sophomore Aaron Larson recorded his fifth career double-double on Friday night against Cincinnati Christian

ONU holds on for overtime win over Cincinnati Christian in season opener

Author: Nick Birkey
Posted: Saturday, November 09, 2013 at 9:16 AM

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — After leading by 25 points with 16:36 to go in the second half, the Olivet Nazarene University men’s basketball team allowed the Cincinnati Christian University (Ohio) Golden Eagles to tie the game with only four seconds to go and forced overtime. The Tigers held on to win 80-73 in the extra period in front of a typical Homecoming & Family Weekend crowd.

The Tigers (1-0) never gave up the lead for the entire 45 minutes; but with only 17 points over the final 17 minutes, the Tigers nearly squandered away a win that seemed for sure througout most of the game. ONU led 23-9 with under 10 minutes to play in the first half, showing that first game jitters were nonexistent. However, over the next five minutes, the Eagles (2-1) got within six (30-24). The Tigers used a jolt by sophomore Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) to end the half on a solid note. Larson scored nine of his 15 points over the final three minutes of the first half to give ONU a 17-point lead.

In the first half, Olivet shot 16-for-23 from the field (69.6 percent), 2-for-6 from the three-point line (33.3 percent) and 9-for-10 from the free-throw line (90 percent). They outrebounded Cincinnati Christian 17-9. The Tigers had two offensive rebounds and committed seven turnovers. The Eagles shot 43.5 percent from the field, 16.7 percent from the three-point line and 41.7 percent from the free-throw line. The Eagles committed seven first-half turnovers and had three offensive rebounds.

The Tigers came out quickly in the second half and scored the first eight points to stretch the lead to 25 with 17 minutes remaining. Up until the eight minute mark, ONU kept a cushion (65-49) and remained consistent; but offensively, they became a little stale as the Eagles gained the momentum. They scored the next 14 points over a six-minute span and got within one. The Tigers led again by four. But with five seconds remaining, Kenny Gaynor took advantage of an offensive rebound and got fouled. Then, he missed the second, forcing the game into overtime.

In the extra period, the Tigers outscored Cincinnati Christian 12-5. Defensively, the Tigers helped their effort, keeping the Eagles to a 1-for-5 effort from the floor with the Eagles missing two other foul shots.

Sophomore Aaron Larson led the Tigers with 15 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the field, 1-for-3 from the three-point line and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line. He added 11 rebounds and four assists in 37 minutes. It was his fifth career double-double. 

Junior Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.) finished with 18 points on 7-for-13 shooting from the field, 1-for-6 from the three-point line and 3-for-5 from the free-throw line. He added four rebounds and five assists in 31 minutes.

Junior Hunter Jacobs (Champaign, Ill.) gave the Tigers 11 points, nine rebounds and five assists in 35 minutes. The other big-man to start for the Tigers was Zach Wagner (Roselle, Ill.), who finished with 10 points and four rebounds.

Freshman Tyler Crater (Hampshire, Ill.) finished with 10 points and one rebound off the bench in 21 minutes.

Mike Hill led the Golden Eagles with 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the field, 1-for-2 from the three-point line and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. He added three rebounds and three assists in 33 minutes. Kenny Gaynor finished with 13 points on 4-for-5 shooting and 5-for-11 from the free-throw line, and had 11 rebounds in 40 minutes. D.J. McCommons added 15 points and three rebounds in 44 minutes.

Overall, the Tigers shot 30-for-58 from the field (51.7 percent), 5-for-15 from the three-point line (33.3 percent) and 15-for-22 from the free-throw line (68.2 percent). They outrebounded Cincinnati Christian. 44-31, committed 18 turnovers and totaled 22 assists, with 12 offensive rebounds and five steals.

Calumet-St. Joseph shot 25-for-58 from the field (43.1 percent), 5-for-22 from beyond the arc (22.7 percent) and 18-for-34 from the free-throw line (52.9 percent). The Golden Eagles had nine assists, 12 turnovers, 11 offensive rebounds and 12 steals.

ONU will be back in action on Monday, Nov. 11, on the road against the NCAA Division II Lewis University (Ill.) at 7:30 p.m.

Boxscore: http://web.olivet.edu/sports/basketball/men/games/2013/onumbb01.htm