HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. - The Olivet Nazarene University men's basketball team came up with a statement win over the NAIA No. 3-ranked Robert Morris University (Ill.) Eagles on Saturday, Feb. 18. The Tigers 95-85 victory gave the Eagles their first conference loss and Olivet won their fifth straight game.
This is the Tigers' first win over a NAIA Division I Top 10 opponent since December 12, 2009, when Olivet defeated #10 Union University (Tenn.) 83-68.
Olivet's senior point guard Antonio Marshall (Bowling Green, Ind.) led the Tigers with a career-high 34 points on 10-for-17 shooting from the field. He also had five rebounds, two assists and three steals.
The Tigers (16-11, 5-3) trailed by as many as five points early in the half and eventually nine by the 9:39 mark after a Lionel Holmes lay-up. The Eagles (24-3, 7-1), however let the Tigers back in the game, giving up 13 of the next 16 points. Olivet eventually took the lead 40-38 after two made free-throws at the 4:02 mark. ONU gained a three-point lead (3:11), but saw it become a two-point halftime deficit after Robert Morris finished the half on a 9-4 run.
The second half started well for the Tigers as they immediately took a four-point lead (17:42) and stretched it to eight at 15:48. However, Robert Morris clawed back within two after a Diante Watkins three-pointer at 15:02. To the liking of Olivet, that was the closest the Eagles would get the rest of the game. Olivet eventually took their first double-digit lead at 9:03 and never looked back, holding as much as a 16-point lead (3:37).
Brandon Streets (Lombard, Ill.) finished with 10 points on 2-for-7 shooting from the field and 6-for-6 shooting from the free-throw line. He also had 10 rebounds and five assists. He finished with his third double-double of the season and second consecutive. Jake Boyce (Lockport, Ill.) finished with 15 points on 6-for-12 shooting from the field. He also had 11 rebounds and six assists. Greg Bennett (Chicago, Ill.) finished with 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting from the field and 2-for-4 shooting from the free-throw line. He also had six rebounds and two assists.
Off the bench, Jake Hasselbring (Watseka, Ill.) finished with eight points on 3-for-5 shooting from the field and 2-for-2 shooting from the free-throw line. He also had six rebounds in 16 minutes. Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.) chipped in with seven points on 3-for-4 shooting and added one assist.
Diante Watkins led Robert Morris with 31 points on 12-for-26 shooting from the field, 6-for-14 shooting from three-point line and 1-for-3 shooting from free-throw line. He added two rebounds and seven assists. Tremell Adams finished with 21 points on 7-for-16 shooting and four rebounds. Aubrey McAlpine added 14 points and nine rebounds, and Tori Boyd finished with nine points and four rebounds off the bench.
Overall, the Tigers shot 33-for-70 from the field (47.1 percent), 5-for-15 from the three-point line (33.3 percent) and 24-for-28 from the free-throw line (85.7 percent). They outrebounded Robert Morris 47-38, committed 12 turnovers and totaled 19 assists, seven steals and 14 offensive rebounds.
Robert Morris, meanwhile, shot 33-for-74 from the field (44.6 percent), 11-for-32 from beyond the arc (34.4 percent) and 8-for-16 from the free-throw line (50 percent). The Eagles had 13 assists, 13 turnovers, 14 offensive rebounds and seven steals.