Ada, Ohio - The Alma College men's basketball team held off Ohio Northern University on Wednesday (Nov. 29) night to claim its first victory of the season, defeating the Polar Bears by an 81-79 margin to wrap up a season-opening four-game road trip.
The Scots (1-3 overall) led by as many as eight points in the second half and withstood a late surge by Ohio Northern (2-2), which missed a three-point shot at the buzzer.
Junior Kevin Gamble (Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Sacred Heart) scored a career-high 20 points to lead the Scots, while sophomore Ryan Stevens (Lowell, Mich./Lowell) netted 17 points and dished out eight assists. Junior Doug Bradfield (Mason, Much./Mason) scored 14 points and matched a career-high with four three-pointers as Alma his 50 percent of its shots, including 48 percent of its three-point attempts.
Bradfield, along with senior Rob Holmes (Ada, Mich./Rockford), led the team with nine rebounds each.
Ohio Northern was paced by Nate Burger's 23 points and had three other starters in double-figures.
How It Happened
- The Scots took an early 6-0 lead on a pair of three-pointers by Ryan Stevens, only to watch Ohio Northern put together a 13-0 run to to up by a 13-6 margin three minutes into the game.
- Alma forced a 15-15 tie on a three-pointer by Bradfield five minutes into the half, but the Polar Bears went on a run again, outscoring the Scots 10-2 to lead 25-17 with 13:11 to play.
- Down by 10 points at 32-22 with 10:58 remaining in the half, the Scots surged back, outscoring Ohio Northern 14-0 in a six-minute span to take a 34-32 lead with less than five minutes left in the opening frame.
- Ohio Northern tied the game at 36-36 with 2:14 left in the half, but the Scots finished with the final six points to take a 42-36 lead at the break.
- Alma led the entire second half, with Ohio Northern pulling within one on several occasions. The Scots secured a seven-point advantage with 3:27 to plan on a pair of free throws by Bradfield to set up the tense final minutes.
- With the score 81-74, the Polar Bears began to chip away at the lead, first on a layup by Nate Burger with 38 seconds to play to cut the lead to five at 81-76. After a turnover by Ryan Stevens, Joey Diorio hit a three-pointer to get within two points at 81-79 with 22 seconds left.
- Ohio Northern had the final possession and missed a pair of three-pointers, including the final shot by Diorio as time expired that caromed off the rim - twice.
- Alma's 50 percent shooting from the floor was its best of the season. Its' 48.1 percent three-point accuracy was also a season-high.
- The Scots' 13 three-pointers were the most in a game this season.
- Alma's 39 rebounds matched a season-high and marked the first time this season it has out rebounded an opponent. The Scots led that category 39-37.
- The Scots' 21 assists were the most this season.
- Kevin Gamble's 20 points marked a career-high and the first 20-point game of his career. In addition, it was the most points scored by a Scot in a game this season.
- Doug Bradfield's four three-pointers tied a career-best. Bradfield also tallied four assists to match a career-high.
- Bradfield posted a season-high four blocks.
- Rob Holmes' nine rebounds were a career-high.
The Scots will open the home portion of their schedule on Sunday, Dec. 3, hosting No. 9 Washington University (MO) at Art Smith Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.