By Matt Dahlberg
ONU Men’s basketball teams falls short of qualifying for the NAIA National tournament in a loss to Robert Morris University to conclude the season.
The men’s basketball season came to an end March 3 when the Tigers lost to Robert Morris University (Ill.) 77-88 in the CCAC Tournament Championship (http://www.ccacsports.com/).
Brandon Streets led the team with 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. But his efforts were not enough to upend the fourth-ranked Eagles.
With the loss, ONU finished 19-12 on the season with a 7-3 conference record. They tied for second with St. Xavier University (Ill.) in the CCAC regular season.
Despite winning eight of their last nine games (http://www.olivet.edu/athletics/mensbasketball.aspx) (including a 95-85 win over Robert Morris Feb. 18) and finishing No. 27 in the final NAIA poll, the Tigers fell just short of qualifying for the NAIA national tournament.
Several Tigers received honors for their performances throughout the season. Seniors Antonio Marshall and Brandon Streets were named to the CCAC FirstTeam along with junior Ben Worner, while senior Jake Hasselbring (http://www2.olivet.edu/athletics/roster.php?sid=2) made the CCAC Second Team.
The men led the CCAC conference in free throw percentage, 3-point percentage, rebounds per game, rebounding margin, defensive rebound margin, and offensive rebound margin. On the national level, the team was third in NAIA Division I in assists per game (18). Individually, Marshall finished the season ranked fifth in the nation in free throw percentage (.857).
The Tigers are losing five seniors this year: Marshall, Streets, Hasselbring, GE Bennett and Jason Newkirk. Returners for next season include Worner, junior Jake Boyce, and freshmen Austin Davis and Danny Olson.