By Ashley Birchmeier
ADA — Senior Jordan Martin had a career night to lead the Ohio Northern men's basketball team past Rochester 75-72 in a thrilling overtime victory Tuesday at the ONU Sports Center.
Ohio Northern improves to 6-6 overall, while Rochester falls to 4-7.
Martin scored a career-high 25 points and added a game-high four steals and sophomore Konnor Baker added 16 points to lead ONU.
The Polar Bears were able to force 23 turnovers, 20 of which came in the second half.
Sophomore Joey Hurless scored on a driving layup with 1.5 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 63-all and send it into overtime.
Senior Isaiah Roux then iced the game with a driving layup as the shot clock was winding down with just 32 seconds left to extend ONU's lead to 75-72.
UR had a pair of contested 3-pointers in the final second miss and the polar Bears has hung on for the victory.
"Our guys kept battling," said head coach Kevin Byrne. "We played hard and stayed with it, we made some plays down the stretch and got a win against a quality opponent."
Tyler Seldman led four UR players in double figures in scoring with 18 points.
ONU made 24-of-75 field goals for 32.0 percent and was just 4-of-31 from 3-point range for 12.9 percent, but made 23-of-32 free throws for 71.9 percent.
UR was 21-of-47 from the floor for 44.7 percent and was 4-of-17 from beyond the arc for 23.5 percent. At the foul line, the Yellow Jackets were 26-of-40 for 65.0 percent.
Rochester won the rebounding battle 48-37, but ONU's defense forced the 23 UR turnovers, while the Polar Bears only turned the ball over six times in 45 minutes of action.
Baker led the way for ONU to start the first half as he netted the first five points for the Polar Bears giving ONU the 5-2 advantage.
Rochester (N.Y.) would regain the lead minutes later as they were able to create a 6-0 run that led to a 11-7 Yellow Jacket advantage.
Ohio Northern responded as Martin was able to pick off a pass from Rochester's senior Alex Hoey and cut the deficit to 17-11 with just under nine minutes to go in the half.
The Yellow Jackets would go on to score the last five points of the half and extend its lead to 29-19.
Rochester was able to gain its largest lead of the contest at the 18:12 mark following a jumper from Peretz to put the Yellow Jackets up 33-20.
With just under 14 minutes to play in the contest Martin responded for the Polar Bears hitting a jumper to pull ONU within 41-30.
Following a three point play and a steal from Martin, Baker was able to sink a pair of free-throws that would lead to a Polar Bear 8-0 run.
Rochester was held scoreless for almost two and a half minutes before hitting a layup with 9:59 remaining to give the Yellow Jackets the 45-38 advantage.
A three pointer from Senior Lucas Pennington would swing the momentum in the Polar Bears favor as they were able to cut the lead to 45-43 with just over eight minutes remaining.
Ohio Northern would then tie the score at 45 as Hurless was able to find Martin on a fast break layup.
A clutch three pointer from sophomore Devon Allen would tie the game once more at 53 with 3:21 remaining in the contest.
After going a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line the Yellow Jackets were able to extend its lead to 57-53.
With 1:33 remaining Martin was able to continue his career night and pull the Polar Bears back within two 59-57.
As time expired Hurless was able to go the length of the court and force overtime tieing the game once more at 63.
Ohio Northern would gain the lead following a jumper by sophomore Aron Thress, at the 4:40 mark in overtime, 65-63 for the first time since the 19 minute mark in the first half.
Rochester would regain the lead 68-65 following a three pointer from Seidman with 3:44 remaining.
After Allen took a charge to force a UR turnover at the 1:03 mark, Roux was able to find a layup to seal the ONU 75-72 victory.
The Polar Bears will return to action Saturday as they host No. 9-ranked Marietta at 3 pm in the ONU Sports Center.