Heidelberg clinches berth in the OAC Tournament with a win and a lot of help
Moxley scores 22 while Mason added 16 off the bench
Berg out-rebounds the Muskies, 44-33
NEW CONCORD -- On the final day of the 2017-18 regular season, three things had to happen in order for the Heidelberg University men's basketball team to clinch a spot in the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament.
Capital had to beat John Carroll. Capital won, 85-80.
Baldwin Wallace had to beat Wilmington. BW won, 95-70.
And most importantly, Heidelberg had to beat Muskingum. The Student Princes defeated Muskingum, 90-86, to clinch the final spot in next week's eight-team conference tournament.
Myron Prewitt contributed 14 points while Kiere Bennie had a complete line for the Student Princes -- 10 points combined with eight rebounds and five assists.
With the win, Heidelberg will face the No. 1 seed John Carroll University in the opening round of the OAC Tournament.
The Muskies looked poised to take an eight point lead into the half, when Prewitt drained a trey in the corner off a feed from Bennie. Muskingum mishandled the inbounds pass, which tricked right to Josh Dixon. As time expired in the half, the sophomore launched a shot from near mid-court that fell. Heidelberg trailed 45-43 at the half.
Back-to-back layups from Moxley and Dixon gave the Berg its first lead since the first half with 13:33 remaining.
With just under five minutes to play, Bennie hit a three that pushed Heidelberg's lead to seven points -- its largest of the afternoon.
Jayson Peoples' triple cut the Heidelberg lead to 81-78 with 3:20 on the clock. Following a Heidelberg miss, the Muskies capitalized on the next possession, slimming HU's lead to one point.
Holding a one-point lead the Student Princes desperately needed a score. Bennie, a senior captain, gave Heidelberg the life they needed with a 3-pointer. The visitors held a 88-84 lead with one minute remaining.
Moxley hit free throws at the end to ice the game for the Berg and to send the team into the OAC Tournament.
"Our men did great at battling through adversity on the road against a well-coached Muskingum team," said head coach Andy Bucheit. "We made some mistakes in the first half, but credit our players for making the adjustments and I thought that was the difference."
Heidelberg's bench outscored Muskingum, 49-15.
The Berg worked hard to contain MU's Marcus Dempsey, the OAC's leading scorer. Primarily guarded by James Hanley, the Student Princes held Dempsey to just six points in the second half. Dempsey finished with a game-high 28 points -- but only managed six in the second half.
The OAC Tournament begins on Tuesday, where the Berg will travel to No. 1 John Carroll. Tip off is set for 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices for the game: $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $3 for Non-OAC Students, Free for OAC Students. OAC Regular-season passes are not valid.