By Tim Glon

TIFFIN -- Junior Branden Rushton became the 37th member of Ohio Northern's 1,000-point club in a 76-68 men's basketball victory at Heidelberg on Wednesday night at Sierberling Gymnasium.



The Polar Bears improve to 11-11 overall and 7-8 in Ohio Athletic Conference action, while the Student Princes fall to 9-13, 4-11.

Rushton finished with 17 points and now has 1,004 for his career.

Junior Dominique Royal scored a season-high 20 points and junior Jared Horstman added 17 points for ONU.

"I knew I was close, but I really didn't know," Rushton said. "I just kept playing. We were executing so well in our offense and Dom and Jared were playing so well that I was just in the flow and trying to play defense and let the game come to me."

Heidelberg was led by Ishaam Smith with 14 points, Dane Givner with 13 points and Josh Pollner with 12 points.

ONU used a 10-2 run to open the second half to open up a 40-31 lead, then went on an 8-2 run to go up 57-44 with 8:49 left.

Northern made its first 19 shots from the foul line and finished with a 20-of-21 effort from the charity stripe.

The ONU defense forced the Berg into 19 turnovers while committing only seven themselves.

"This is a big win for us," ONU head coach Kevin Byrne said. "We did a good job of limiting our turnovers and forced Heidelberg into some. We did a great job in the half court and were outstanding at the foul line.

"Branden getting 1,000 points as a junior is quite an accomplishment. It is a tribute to his consistency. He never seems to have an off night. He does a great job on both ends of the floor and I am very happy for him."

The Polar Bears will return to action Saturday with a 3 pm contest against Mount Union at the ONU Sports Center.