The Otterbein men’s basketball team dropped a home contest to John Carroll by a score of 84-75 Wednesday evening. The game was a back-and-forth affair, but John Carroll was able to pull away in the second half. Jay Joseph led the Cardinals in scoring with 21 points and 13 rebounds.
Otterbein drops to 6-18 overall and 3-14 in the Ohio Athletic Conference. John Carroll improves to 11-13 overall and 7-10 in OAC play.
The teams played an even first half. Hunter Dennison connected on a three-pointer with 14 seconds left as it was 30-30 going into intermission. Dennison finished the game with 10 points, one point shy of his career-high earlier this season against Ohio Northern.
The Cardinals gained an early second half lead when Justin Carter hit a three-pointer to give the home team a 36-33 advantage at the 18:08 mark.
John Carroll took a 37-36 advantage on Luke Hippler's layup at the 16:48 mark and would never surrender the lead for the rest of the contest. The Blue Streaks led by as much as 10 points on different occasions in the second half.
Otterbein did narrow the deficit to one possession on a couple of occasions. Joseph scored a three-pointer to cut the deficit to two points (58-56) with 8:14 left to play.
Carter, who contributed 15 points to the game, was only one rebound shy of a double-double with nine rebounds. He converted a layup with little over six minutes left, making the score 62-59 in favor of John Carroll. The visitors responded with a 7-0 run over the course of a couple minutes to gain a 69-59 lead with 4:13 left to play.
Otterbein made one final push in narrowing the gap to five points at 80-75 on a Joseph layup with 39 seconds left in the contest. The Blue Streaks made key free throws to secure the victory.
John Carroll held a significant advantage in fast break points, outscoring the Cards 34-8. Points from turnovers were another important factor in the game as the Blue Streaks held a 19-4 edge.
The Cardinals will finish the regular season playing host to Baldwin Wallace Saturday afternoon for Senior Day at 2 p.m.