MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon Nazarene University men’s basketball earned its fourth win of the season over an NAIA Division II Top-25 opponent, comfortably getting past No. 14 Spring Arbor in Ariel Arena, 72-63.
With just five regular season Crossroads League matchups remaining, Spring Arbor and MVNU sit in a tie for third place in the standings.
The Cougars finished the game shooting at a 53.8-percent clip and were 9-of-20 (45 percent) from beyond the arc against statistically one of the best defenses in the Crossroads League. Spring Arbor entered the contest holding its opponents to just 42.6 percent shooting from the field, the second lowest mark in the league.
Four of the five starters for MVNU scored in double figures, led by a 19-point and six-rebound effort from Joe Schmitz on 4-of-8 from downtown. Brett Vipperman had a double-double, his fourth of the season, with 16 points and a team-high 13 rebounds. Austin Jones added 12 points, and Jacob Paul had 10 to go along with four dimes, tying with Vipperman for a team-high in the assist category.
MVNU held Spring Arbor to just 42 percent shooting. When Spring Arbor missed, the Cougars also dominated the boards, 34-18.
MVNU (15-10, 7-6 CL) stopped a three-game slide with the victory and will now prepare for an away game at Taylor University (14-11, 5-8 CL) on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.