MBB: Berg's senior day spoiled by Mount Union

Photos courtesy of Mason Hainey
Photos courtesy of Mason Hainey

TIFFIN -- The Heidelberg University men's basketball team's Senior Day was spoiled by the University of Mount Union on Saturday afternoon by a final score of 72-66.

Prior to tip off, senior cheerleader, Katie Baker, and senior basketball players Myron Prewitt and Connor Hutchison were honored for their contributions to Heidelberg Athletics over the past four years. Additionally, Jimmy Hanley was recognized prior to the game. The fifth-year senior was honored with his family last season.

Prewitt executed his senior day in a fashion that has become all-to-familiar this season. Myron tallied his 15th double-double of the season with a 19-point, 13-rebound showing. He also stuffed the box score with three steals.

Hutchison added five points and two rebounds, while Hanley chipped in with three rebounds, one assist and one steal.

Heidelberg (8-15, 6-10 OAC) saw a strong start, leading for the first five minutes of the game. An slick up-and-under move by Phariz Watkins got the scoring going on the first possession of the game.

However, the scoring exchanges slowed, as Mount (19-4, 13-3) capitalized on a brief spell of empty possessions for the Berg and built out a seven point lead. A big second chance opportunity for Myron Prewitt ended the brief drought. Prewitt worked hard to collect the offensive rebound and finished easily at the basket after the boxout.

As the Purple Raiders continued to open up their lead, a pair of strong takes to the basket by Emmanuel Perdue yielded a quick four points for Heidelberg. Dylan Woods followed Perdue's lead and spun his man to convert the easy layup on the next possession.

Unfortunately, the offensive pressure was answered by Mount on the other end of the floor and the visitors finished the half on the upper-hand with a 39-26 lead. Woods did cap the half on a tough contested layup as time expired to head to the break with some momentum.

The Berg came out of the intermission looking to close the gap in a hurry. Behind Prewitt's leadership on nine straight points, they found themselves within eight quickly.

In response, the Purple Raiders resorted to working the ball to their sharpshooters. On seven consecutive made jump shots, Mount picked up five assists and created some separation. With just over six minutes remaining, the Berg trailed by 19 points.  

Four points a-piece for Dylan Woods and Phariz Watkins brought the Berg within 11 points, but the Purple Raiders would not concede easily. Mount strengthened their defensive efforts and forced the Berg into difficult shots, holding the pressure at bay.

A strong putback by Prewitt trimmed the lead to just eight points gave the Student Princes life. On the next defensive possession, the Berg was forced to foul.

Even in desperation mode, Heidelberg did not relent, as Hutchison drilled a 3-pointer with 27 seconds remaining.

Collen Gurley capped the game by knocking down a free throw on the other end. A Watkins layup with two seconds left was just not enough, as Mount escaped with the six-point win.

The Purple Raiders held the advantage on the glass by securing 40 rebounds compared to the Berg's 36. Nathan Bower-Malone led Mount with 20 points and 10 boards.

Mount also executed their advantage at the charity line converting 15-of-18 freebie attempts. Heidelberg only mustered 10-for-17 from the stripe.

Supporting the Berg offense was Dylan Woods with 16 points and three assists, while Phariz Watkins also hit double-digits with 12 points.

Despite the loss, the Student Princes clinched their spot in the eight-team OAC tournament next week. 

Heidelberg will finish off the regular season this week hosting Ohio Northern University on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tip before traveling to No. 11 Marietta College on Saturday for a 3 p.m. start time.