WILMINGTON — The Wilmington College men’s basketball team held Otterbein University to nine points in the first 10 minutes of second half en route to a 71-61 Ohio Athletic Conference win Wednesday at Hermann Court’s Fred Raizk Arena.
The win snapped a three-game losing skid and extended the Fightin’ Quakers’ winning streak over the Cardinals to 16 games.
Otterbein used the long-distance shot in the first half as the Cardinals led by as many as eight points, 27-19, and connected on 6-of-11 from three-point range. Wilmington battled back to tie the game 31-31 on a Jeffery Mansfield three-pointer with 3:54 to play, but it was the visitors that led 38-35 at halftime.
The Quakers regained the advantage 47-44 thanks to a three-pointer from Colin Myers and a layup from Payton Smith at the 14:19 mark.
After Otterbein tied the game, 47-47, WC put together a strong defensive stretch, holding the Cardinals to four points over the next 10 minutes. The Quakers offense scored 17 during that time to earn the win.
“We talked at halftime that we played with effort in the first half, but not desperate effort,” WC coach K.C. Hunt said. “Our defensive intensity and communication was much better in the second half. That’s the team that we need to be to win games in this league.”
Wilmington finished 27-of-52 (51.9 percent) from the field, marking the third time this season it has shot over a 50 percent clip. The Quakers also made 6-of-17 (35.5 percent) from three-point range and 11-of-19 (57.9 percent) from the free throw line. Otterbein countered by making 23-of-53 (43.4 percent) from the field and 10-of-18 (55.6 percent) from beyond the arc.
The Cardinals won the rebounding battle 34-21, but the Quakers forced 24 turnovers and had four steals.
Four Quakers scored in double figures including a career-high, 17-point performance Payton Smith, who also had four assists and four steals.
“When you’re more engaged mentally, you tend to make more shots and cut with more of a purpose,” said Hunt. “We definitely did that in the second half.”
Justice led all scorers with 18 points for Otterbein in defeat.
Wilmington (5-9, 3-4 OAC) heads to Baldwin Wallace University Saturday.