TIFFIN – Despite a career-high 25 points from senior Keith Mackie, the Heidelberg University men's basketball team lost to Otterbein University, 81-77.
Mackie also contributed seven rebounds and six assists in the losing effort.
Heidelberg (5-10, 1-7 OAC) hit five of its first six shots and roared out to a 12-3 advantage in the first four minutes.
Otterbein (3-12, 2-6 OAC), led by freshman Jake Phillis, immediately began to chip away. Trailing by five with 7:00 left in the first half, the Cardinals embarked on a 16-4 run and led 39-33 at intermission.
Sparked by a three-point play by Deonte Holder, the Student Princes regained the lead almost six minutes into the second half. The Berg's lead in the second half grew to as many as five before Otterbein responded.
Over the next seven minutes, both teams made mini-runs to briefly seize control of the scoreboard.
Holder hit a three from the right wing to tie the score at 66 with five minutes remaining.
Undeterred, Otterbein would score on eight of its final 11 possessions to earn the victory. Phillis scored 10 of his career-high 30 points during that span.
Holder finished with 18 points. Mike Petrie added 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Heidelberg outrebounded the Cardinals 36-30.
The Student Princes have dropped seven of eight in the OAC by an average of just 5.7 points.
"Our record indicates that we are the tenth-best team in the league," said head coach Andy Bucheit. "But I think if you poll every other coach, they would tell you that there is no way Heidelberg is tenth."
Bucheit and the Student Princes will close out the first half of OAC action on the road at Baldwin Wallace on Wednesday. Tipoff in Berea is at 7:30 p.m.