BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – The Tigers desperately need a win after falling three straight times in CCAC play. ONU got exactly what it needed, a home game in McHie Arena and night of hot-shooting and solid play from a host of Tigers. Olivet took it to Purdue University-North Central (Ind.) defeating the Panthers 91-59 in front of the home crowd, moving their record to .500.
The Tigers (3-3, 2-3) needed only about six minutes until they took full control, at the 13:56 mark they led by 12. However, the Panthers (3-4, 2-3) went on a small run to bring it within seven with 10:43 remaining following a David Kelly lay-up. The game remained within single digits over the next four minutes until the Tigers took a 13-point lead at the 5:18 mark and continued to hold onto a 13-point lead at the half following a Ben Worner (Washington, Ill.) lay-in.
In the first half, Olivet shot 15-for-31 from the field (48.4 percent), 5-for-11 from the three-point line (45.5 percent) and 9-for-14 from the free-throw line (64.3 percent). They outrebounded the Panthers 20-12 and committed five turnovers. PUNC shot 48.3 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from the three-point line. The Panthers committed nine first-half turnovers and had two steals.
The second half went completed to the Tigers as they stretched their lead from the start of the half. By the 11:05 mark ONU held a 64:41 lead and continued to build it on the back of good shooting, rebounding, transition lay-ups, and sound defense. The Panthers tried their best to get back into the game but failed in the process because a great Tiger effort.
Sophomore Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.) finished with a career-high 22 points on 8-for-13 shooting from the field and 6-for-10 from three-point line. He also had two rebounds and six assists in 32 minutes.
Senior Jake Boyce (Lockport, Ill.) finished with his fourth double-double of the year (leads CCAC). He had 12 points on 4-for-10 shooting from the field and 4-for-6 from the free-throw line. He also had 12 rebounds and two assists in 27 minutes.
Ben Worner finished with 16 points on 7-for-14 shooting from the field and 2-for-7 from the three-point line. He also had six rebounds and five assists in 31 minutes.
Sophomore Tony Banks (Peoria, Ill.) finished with seven points on 3-for-5 shooting from the field and 1-for-1 from the free-throw line. He also had six rebounds and six assists in his first start of the year.
Freshman Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) finished with 14 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes. Senior Torey Laferney (Flint, Mich.) had 10 points, two rebounds, and four assists in 23 minutes.
Alphonse Futch led the Panthers with 18 points on 7-for-15 shooting from the field, 3-for-6 from the three-point line and 1-for-2 shooting from the free-throw line. He added three rebounds. David Kelly finished with 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting and three rebounds. Matthew Brown added seven points and three rebounds.
Overall, the Tigers shot 34-for-63 from the field (53.9 percent), 9-for-19 from the three-point line (47.4 percent) and 14-for-21 from the free-throw line (66.7 percent). They outrebounded Purdue-North Central 40-26, committed only14 turnovers and totaled 26 assists, and 10 offensive rebounds.
Purdue-North Central, meanwhile, shot 25-for-60 from the field (41.7 percent), 5-for-18 from beyond the arc (27.8 percent) and 4-for-5 from the free-throw line (80 percent). The Panthers had 17 assists, 19 turnovers, five offensive rebounds and six steals.
Worner has made 132 career three-pointers, good for 16th all-time, six behind Jeff Park and Ryan Paxson (138) for 14th.
The Tigers will travel to Olathe, Kan. for the fourth annual Nazarene Thanksgiving Classic played at MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.) played Friday and Saturday, Nov. 23-24. ONU will matchup with MNU at 7 p.m. on Friday evening. The winner plays the victor of Trevecca Nazarene and Southern Nazarene University on Saturday.