WESTERVILLE, Ohio -- The Heidelberg University men's basketball team wrapped up the regular season with their third consecutive win, defeating Otterbein 79-69 in Westerville. The Student Princes surged to a nine-point lead at halftime and was able to preserve that to the end, continuing their strong play towards the end of the season.
With the win, Heidelberg improved to 14-11 (9-9 OAC) while Otterbein fell to 4-21 (2-16 OAC).
The Student Princes finished the regular season tied for 5th place in the OAC standings, but due to head-to-head losses with Ohio Northern, they earned the 6th seed in the upcoming OAC Tournament and will travel to Mount Union for the first round next Tuesday.
Myron Prewitt set a new career high with 19 points in the win for the Student Princes. He shot 7-for-11 from the field, including 2-for-3 from 3-point range.
Deonté Holder took full advantage of his first start of the season, scoring 12 points. The junior had a team-high four assists as well to help pace the efficient HU offense.
Kiere' Bennie scored 14 points off the bench on 50% (4-for-8) shooting. Heidelberg's bench outscored Otterbein 40-24 in the win.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Tied at 15 with 8:02 left in the first half, the Student Princes went on a 9-0 run on 3-pointers by Myron Prewitt and Kiere Bennie and a three-point play by Maurice Hunter. Heidelberg was able to maintain a comfortable cushion throughout the rest of the half, holding a 36-27 lead at intermission.
A 3-pointer by Otterbein's Jake Phillis temporarily chopped HU's lead to five at 38-33. Bennie drilled another 3-pointer 12 seconds later, reinflating the Berg advantage.
Otterbein cut the deficit back down to six (43-37) with 15:08 remaining, but Heidelberg had an answer. A pair of 3-pointers by Holder made it a 49-38 lead for the Berg with 12:51 left to play.
Every chance the Cardinals had from the point on, HU had a response, as they never allowed Otterbein within less than seven from that point on. Heidelberg's lead ballooned as large as 15 with 6:34 to play before they wound up winning by a final score of 79-69.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The 14 wins for Heidelberg is their most in a season since they went 15-13 back in the 2009-10 season.
Heidelberg shot 76.2% (16/21) from the free throw line in the game, bringing their season shooting percentage to 75.3%, which leads the OAC.
Heidelberg will travel to Mount Union on Tuesday for the first round of the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament. That game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. in Alliance.
These two split the regular season series, with both winning convincingly on their respective home court. Heidelberg is 1-2 all-time against MTU in the OAC Tournament, with the last meeting coming in 1997, a 67-56 win for the Purple Raiders.
For tournament information, including ticket prices, CLICK HERE.