MOUNT VERNON — No. 5 Mount Vernon Nazarene University (16-3, 4-3 CL) hosted No. 9 Spring Arbor University (16-3, 6-1) Tuesday night. After two overtime periods, the Cougars from Spring Arbor University came out on top, 90-85.
The contest turned out to be a Crossroads League slugfest, as the high level of physical play made both teams work extremely hard on offense. After MVNU grew a 31-22 lead, Spring Arbor closed the first half on a 7-0 run. In the second half, the largest lead by either side was only 5 points, and a bucket by Vipperman with 27 seconds left forced the game into overtime. A similar story occurred in the first overtime, as a Jacob Paul layup with 19 seconds left forced another 5 minutes of action. MVNU would come up short in the second overtime, as Spring Arbor made their free throws to seal the five-point victory.
Keys to the Game
• Perhaps the biggest key to Spring Arbor’s victory was the difference from the free throw line, as they outshot MVNU 25-29 (86.2 percent) to just 6-11 (54.5 percent).
• MVNU played great all-around defense, holding Spring Arbor to 30-69 (43.5 percent) shooting, blocking 6 shots, and forcing 6 steals.
• Spring Arbor was able to grab 9 offensive rebounds, which turned in to 11 huge points.
• All five of MVNU’s starters were able to reach double digit scoring, led by Vipperman’s 23 points.
Notable Player Statistics
• Brett Vipperman: 23 points, 10-19 from the field, 4 assists, 4 rebounds
• Jevon Knox: 14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists
• Austin Jones: 14 points, 8 rebounds
• Jeremiah Roberts: 11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals
• Jacob Paul: 10 points, 3 rebounds
“Give credit to Spring Arbor, they hit some big shots in key moments,” MVNU coach Jared Ronai said. “I thought the pace of the game was in their favor for the majority of the night. We have to evaluate and get better from this moment. We’re looking forward to getting better tomorrow.”
The Cougars (16-3, 4-3) hit the road Saturday afternoon, as they travel to Taylor University (10-9, 4-3) with tip-off set for 3 p.m. The game is part of a doubleheader with the MVNU women’s team, and will tip off directly following the women’s game at 1 p.m.