TIFFIN -- It took two overtimes for the Heidelberg University men's basketball team to pull off a thrilling upset against No. 12 North Central College. In their home opener, the Student Princes knocked off the Cardinals, 98-93.
The win was the Berg's first over a ranked opponent since 2/13/2016 when the team dropped No. 23 Mount Union, 87-70.
Heidelberg moves to 1-1 on the young season. NCC drops its season opener, falling to 0-1.
Kiere Bennie tied a career-high, dropping in 31 points and led all scorers. He was a perfect 9 of 9 from the charity stripe.
Senior point guard Chris Moxley scored 24 points and added six assists and six steals.
Sophomore Alex Arellano set a new career-high with 18 points off the bench.
Prince Benson had a career-high 11 boards.
HOW IT HAPPENED
With a fantastic move in the post, Arellano's layup with 2:19 left in the second overtime gave Heidelberg the lead for good. Benson extended the lead to 88-85 with an offensive rebound and a putback.
On the ensuing possession, Moxley intercepted a NCC pass and gave the Student Princes a six point lead. The senior hit the layup and drew a foul, swishing the free throw that followed.
Mike Pollack gave the visitors hope with a clutch triple with 1:11 in double overtime, cutting the Heidelberg lead to three points. The Student Princes kept the Cardinals at a distance for the remainder of the game by sinking free throws down the stretch.
Heidelberg never let North Central build a lead larger than seven points in the first half. A Moxley steal and layup in the final seconds of the half brought the score to 37-34 in favor of NCC at the break.
Trailing by seven with 12 minutes remaining, the Student Princes sparked a run to eventually take the lead. Bennie sank a pair of free throws and Moxley hit a jumper to cut the deficit to three points.
After a missed three at the other end, Moxley found Bennie on the wing, who drained a triple to even the score at 50 with 9:30 in regulation. Heidelberg's defense got another stop, and took the lead on a three-point play by Benson.
The Cardinals chipped away at the slim HU lead, cutting the score to 60-58. NCC's Matt Cappelletti hit a deep three to give the visitors the lead with 4:30 in the second half.
North Central's Aiden Chang nailed a 3-pointer with just over a minute remaining in the period, giving the Cardinals a 70-68 lead. Bennie responded at the other end for the Tricolor with an explosive three-point play to take a one point lead. North Central split a pair of free throws at the other end to even the score at 71. A Heidelberg three rattled out in the waning seconds, send the game to overtime.
Both teams added eight points in the first overtime period, with another HU chance at the buzzer rattling out.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
North Central had six players finish the game in double figures compared to Heidelberg's three.
HU scored 24 points off of 18 Cardinal turnovers. The Student Princes committed just 10 turnovers in the contest.
There were 24 lead changes and 12 ties in the game.
QUOTES FROM THE COACH
"I thought we did everything we needed to do to put ourselves in a position to win for a majority of the game," said head coach Andy Bucheit. "I was proud of the way guys stepped up and made plays after things didn't go our way."
Bucheit on the play of Bennie: "I thought he had his most consistent game in a Heidelberg uniform."
Bucheit on Moxley's final line: "I'm proud to see he played a complete game … Not just scoring, but facilitating plays and making things happen."
The Student Princes remain on their home court when they host Albion on Tuesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.