ALLIANCE -- On the road in the first round of the OAC Tournament, the seventh-seeded Heidelberg University men's basketball team concluded their season at the hands of the two-seed, University of Mount Union by a final score of 77-66 on Tuesday evening.
With the loss, the Student Princes finished their season with an overall record of 8-18. The Purple Raiders improved to 21-5 overall and will continue their season on Thursday night hosting the winner of John Carroll vs. Marietta.
Josh Dixon contributed 15 points to assist in the offensive efforts.
The Student Princes disrupted the host's offense across the early stages of the game limiting Mount to just six points across the first five and a half minutes of play. In addition to the strong defense, Heidelberg got the job done offensively as they connected on seven of their first nine shots for 15 points. Woods and Prewitt combined for 11 of those points for the Berg.
A Purple Raider timeout upped the tempo of the first half for both teams. Tommy Stenger hit back-to-back shots for Mount to close the gap to just three points.
Mount Union continued to put the pressure on HU and retook the lead for the first time in over 12 minutes of play on a full-length touchdown pass converted by Tanner Slack.
Heidelberg responded with a contested layup by Josh Dixon and a 3-pointer from the corner by Alex Arellano before a trio of Mount Union 3-balls extended their lead to eight with four minutes remaining in the first half.
Even with the momentum hanging in favor of the hosts, Heidelberg didn't relent as the half closed. Down by seven, Dylan Woods received the inbounds pass looking to get the final shot of the frame. As his drive was closed off, he found Dixon wide open in the corner. The junior's 3-pointer at the horn caught a favorable bounce before dropping in closing the halftime score to just 31-27.
Mount Union carried much of the hot shooting in the second half, pairing five 3-pointers with a zig-zagging drive to the basket to extend their lead to as many as 15.
As the game entered the dying moments, the Student Princes looked to find an avenue back into the contest. Prewitt completed his 16th double-double of the season as he knocked down a straight-away 3-pointer and a pair of free throws to close the gap.
Woods helped the efforts by connecting on a trey of his own that closed the gap to 10, sparking a Heidelberg timeout.
Out of the timeout, the Berg's offense collected steam, but Mount kept pace at the free throw line. With the Student Princes in desperation mode to save their season, they resorted to sending the hosts to the line. Mount kept their cool, sinking 9-of-11 from the charity strip across the final two minutes of play.
Even with a stout comeback attempt, the Purple Raiders kept the Berg at bay and iced the game at 77-66.
Mount held the advantage in scoring, rebounding and assists setting the tone for the postseason victory.
For the Purple Raiders, Andrew Francesconi led the way with 21 points, while D'Vontay Friga contributed 17 and Collen Gurley added 10. Friga also added 11 boards for the Mount defense.
Concluding his career in a Heidelberg uniform, Myron Prewitt finished with 1,374 points and sits 10th all-time in Berg history. He became the 32nd member of the elusive 1,000 point club earlier this season at Ohio Northern.
Additionally, seniors Jimmy Hanley and Connor Hutchison wrapped up their Heidelberg careers with tonight's game.