ADA -- Junior Jared Horstman scored a career-high 30 points to lead Ohio Northern to a 79-71 victory over Heidelberg in the First Round of the Ohio Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Monday evening at the ONU Sports Center.
The sixth-seeded Polar Bears improve to 13-13 on the season, while the seventh-seeded Student Princes end their season with an 11-15 mark.
Ohio Northern will travel to third-seeded Wilmington for a Second Round contest Tuesday at 8 pm.
Horstman (Fort Jennings) had a dominating night, scoring 30 points, grabbing a team-high eight rebounds and a nabbing a team-best four steals.
He scored an a jumper in the lane to spark a late 7-0 run that turned a slim 66-64 lead into a 73-64 advantage with 50 seconds left in the game.
Sophomore Isaiah Roux made four straight free throws and senior Taylor Kuhlman capped off the game with a pair of free throws as ONU put the game away at the line in the final minute.
Roux finished the game with 15 points and was a perfect 11-for-11 from the foul line.
Junior Branden Rushton chipped in 13 for ONU.
Heidelberg was led by Dane Givner with 19 points and Nate Davis with 16 points, a game-high 18 rebounds and a game-high six blocked shots.
Northern led 21-12 after a Horstman basket with 10:32 left in the first half, but the Student Princes tied the game at 25-25 with 3:57 left.
Horstman had 18 of his points in the first half as the game was tied at 35-all at intermission.
A layup by Roux gave ONU a 52-43 lead with 12:14 to play in the game.
But again Heidelberg rallied and a layup by Davis tied the game at 60-60 with 6:08 remaining.
Horstman knocked down a pair of free throws at the 5:40 mark to give ONU the lead for good and scored again 16 seconds later to put the hosts up 64-60.
"Jared was terrific tonight," ONU head coach Kevin Byrne said. "He's been terrific all year, but often times he does the little things that don't get noticed in the box score. It was nice to see him have a big night in the scoring column.
"We have talked about playing our best basketball at the end of the season. This was the type of a game that might have gotten away from us earlier in the year, but we executed down the stretch and found a way to win."
The Polar Bears made 26-of-59 field goal attempts for 44.1 percent, while the Student Princes were 26-of-62 from the floor for 41.9 percent.
Northern won the game at the foul line, making 25-of-29 free throws for 86.2 percent to just 13-of-24 for HU for 54.2 percent.