NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – Tuesday’s men’s basketball contest between Manchester University and Ohio Northern inside of Stauffer-Wolfe Arena came down to the wire. The Black & Gold managed to grab a one-point lead with just 3.1 seconds left in the game following an old-fashioned three-point play by first-year point guard Quentez Columbus (South Bend, Ind./Adams). After an Ohio Northern timeout, the Polar Bears were able to capitalize on their Hail Mary heave as ONU’s Landen Long banked in the game-winning three-pointer as time expired, lifting Ohio Northern to a hard-fought 87-85 victory.
The Spartans were able to rally back from a nine-point deficit in the game’s final six minutes, helping set up the contest’s dramatic ending. Trailing 75-66 with 6:28 on the clock, five straight points by first-year guard Bryant Smith (West Lafayette, Ind./Harrison) whittled the Polar Bears’ lead to just four. A jumper by Bryant, along with three-pointers by CJ Hampton (Hammond, Ind./Griffith) and Quentez Columbus drew the Spartans to with two points, 82-80 with just 1:11 left in regulation.
In the final minute of Tuesday’s game, the Spartans defense came up with a big stop, as Ohio Northern was charged with a shot clock violation. Trailing 84-82 with only 7 seconds remaining, Columbus drove the full-length of the court and converted an old-fashioned three-point play to put MU ahead by a point. Following a Polar Bear timeout, Landen Long was able to get the ensuing inbounds pass and bank in a three-pointer for the win.
For the game, Ohio Norther shot 31-60 (51.7 percent) from the field. ONU finished 9-15 (60 percent) from beyond the three-point arc, while also shooting 16-20 (80 percent) from the free throw line. Landen Long led ONU with 35 points. He played the entire 40 minutes and finished 13-20 shooting, while also going 6-8 from three-point range. Adam Scott added 19 points, while both C.J. Napier (15 points) and Ethan Bell (10 points) also finished in double figures.
The Spartans finished shooting 29-59 (49.2 percent) on Tuesday night. The Black & Gold finished 9-24 from beyond the three-point arc – good enough for a 37.5 percent clip. The Spartans also converted from the free throw line, finishing 18-22 (81.8 percent). CJ Hampton led Manchester with 23 points. Hampton added 8 rebounds. Quentez Columbus added 20 points and 7 assists. Ian Snelling (Erlanger, Ky./Dixie Heights) also scored in double figures on Tuesday night, scoring 15 points.
The Spartans (0-4) will look to break into the win column when they return to action on Saturday November 20 with a non-conference road contest at Oberlin College. Saturday’s game from Ohio is slated to begin at 1 p.m.
Ohio Northern (2-1) will head to the Empire State this weekend for a pair of games in Buffalo. ONU will face Buffalo State on Friday night before battling Medaille College on Saturday afternoon.