John Carroll Men’s Basketball drops hard-fought game to Ohio Northern


JCU Sports Information Department

Eric Hanna on Saturday, Feb. 12 in a game against the Ohio Northern Polar Bears

Paul Raglow-DeFranco , The Carroll News

The John Carroll Men’s Basketball team looked to build some momentum going into the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament as they took on Ohio Northern on Saturday, Feb. 12.

After a hard fought game, the Blue Streaks, unfortunately, came up just short in a 74-71 loss against the Polar Bears. The Blue and Gold has now lost six straight games, their longest losing streak since 2006.

Both teams did not lack intensity at the start of the tipoff. A couple of early 3-pointers by John Carroll’s graduate student Jackson Sartain and Eric Hanna ‘23 gave the Blue Streaks a quick 11-7 lead. 

Ohio Northern responded with a couple three’s of their own, including one by forward C.J. Napier to tie the game up at 17. 

A fast paced, high-energy first half resulted in six lead changes as both teams were unable to take control of the game. 

John Carroll took a slight 35-34 advantage heading into the locker room, in part to John Carroll’s bench outscoring Ohio Northern’s bench 25 to 11. 

The Polar Bear’s defense clamped down in the second half holding John Carroll to just 37% shooting from the field. The stout defense led to a 13-4 scoring run for the Polar Bears as they gained their largest lead of the game, 45-39.

John Carroll’s resilience showed once again as they were able to weather Ohio Northern’s quick start to the second half. They climbed back into the game behind Hanna’s 20 points, which led the way for all John Carroll scorers.

“My teammates still did a great job in looking for me and putting me in the best position to score,” said Hanna. “I have played with William Wallace for years and he’s a great facilitator and our chemistry together is so good it is almost like he knows where I am going to be before I do.”

Following a PJ Flannery ‘22 3-pointer  to put John Carroll up five, the Polar Bears answered with a game-changing 14-0 run capped off by Landen Long’s deep 3-pointer to put Ohio Northern up 72-63 with 1:31 left to play. 

The Blue Streaks kept it close with a couple of turnovers resulting in a few free throws; however, it wasn’t enough as they fell 74-71.

John Carroll’s inability to finish games yet again cost them a much-needed OAC victory. The 3-point loss to Ohio Northern adds to a list of close losses, making it three of John Carroll’s last four games in which they lost by single digits. 

Hanna was yet again a bright spot for the Blue Streaks as he finished with a team-high 20 points making this his 11th double-digit performance of the season.

“What has allowed me to be a consistent scorer is just staying with the grind and getting in the gym to work on my game, although there have been ups and downs and we haven’t had the best luck from the basketball gods this year,” says Hanna. “We have all stayed with the process and kept grinding every day. We still have the ability to make a run in this final stretch and I hope I can lead these guys into a deep run.”

The Blue Streaks will look to rebound against their rivals Baldwin Wallace on Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m at the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center.