No.6 Mt Vernon rolls past No.3 Spring Arbor 79-59

by | Feb 6, 2019 | Headlines, RRSN News | 0 comments

Spring Arbor, Mich. — Mount Vernon Nazarene men’s basketball picked up a crucial Crossroads League win on Tuesday night, upending newly-minted No. 3 Spring Arbor (Mich.) 79-59 at McDonald Athletic Center.

Spring Arbor scored the first two baskets of the game and led in the early going, going up 4-0 and 6-2. However, these would be the Cougars’ largest leads of the game, as MVNU stormed into the lead just minutes later. With the score tied 10-10 with less than 12 minutes to go in the first half, Austin Jones (JR/Cincinnati, OH) drained a three to put Mount Vernon Nazarene up 13-10. MVNU never trailed again from there, as the Cougars built a huge first half lead. MVNU’s advantage reached double digits on a Jacob Paul (JR/Canton, OH) free throw with 4:38 to go, and the Cougars piled on the pressure from there. Paul hit a lay-in with 17 seconds to go in the half to give Mount Vernon Nazarene a 48-30 lead at the break.

After halftime, Spring Arbor would attempt to charge back in to the game. A 12-4 run on the opposite side of halftime cut the MVNU lead to 55-44, thanks to seven points from Brandon Durnell. However, 11 points would be as close as SAU could get, and Isaac White (JR/Ashland, OH)’s three to answer a deep shot from Luke Barber stopped the bleeding.

From there, MVNU dominated the rest of the game. The Cougars built the lead to 20 points on a Brett Vipperman (SR/Ashland, OH) three with 10:33 to go; MVNU enjoyed their largest lead of the game on a lay-in for Jordi Mas (SR/Barcelona, Spain) with 7:14 to go. From there, MVNU handled Spring Arbor’s press defense and closed out the win, with Jones score the Cougars’ last bucket on a three; Beckman made one free throw to cut the final margin to 79-59.

The win sees Mount Vernon Nazarene improve to 23-4 on the season, and to 11-4 in the Crossroads League. Spring Arbor fall to 23-4 on the year, and to 13-2 in conference play. MVNU has now won four games in a row, and in the process snapped Spring Arbors nine-game winning streak.

Keys to the Game

  • Tuesday night saw another marvelous defensive effort for Mount Vernon Nazarene. The Cougars held Spring Arbor to 22-53 from the field for 41.5%; MVNU did even better on threes, holding Spring Arbor to 5-18 from behind the arc, an anemic 27.8% for the home team.
  • MVNU was efficient offensively as well, going 32-59 from the field for an excellent 54.2% from the floor. The Cougars went 12-22 from three, good for 54.5%.
  • Rebounding continues to be the mark of a well-played game for Mount Vernon Nazarene. The Cougars outrebounded Spring Arbor 32-29, and improved to 22-0 when outrebounding their opponent.
  • MVNU enjoyed a disciplined game overall. The Cougars committed only five turnovers for the game while dishing out 12 assists.

Top Performers

  • Austin Jones (MVNU) – 17 points, 6 rebounds
  • Brett Vipperman (MVNU) – 14 points, 6 rebounds
  • Jacob Paul (MVNU) – 13 points
  • Jordi Mas (MVNU) – 11 points
  • Isaac White (MVNU) – 10 points
  • Brandon Durnell (SAU) – 18 points
  • Jeff Beckman (SAU) – 10 points, 12 rebounds
  • Paul Marandet (SAU) – 10 points

Coach Ronai’s Thoughts

“Incredible defensive effort by our men tonight. They were really locked into our plan and did a tremendous job executing. Spring Arbor is one of the best teams in the country, so it was a tall task to come out of here with a win tonight. We’re excited to get better tomorrow.”

MVNU Remains No. 6 in Coaches’ Poll

Mount Vernon Nazarene men’s basketball are tied for No. 6 in the NAIA Division II Coaches’ Poll released on Tuesday night. The Cougars are tied with Southwestern (Kan.) for the No. 6 ranking, with both teams getting 249 points. The Crossroads League is well-represented with four other teams: No. 3 Spring Arbor, No. 5 Indiana Wesleyan, No. 11 Marian, and No. 17 Bethel.

Up Next

MVNU men’s basketball return to Ariel Arena on Saturday, February 9 when they welcome Taylor (Ind.) to Mount Vernon. Tipoff is set for 3:00pm.

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