LIMA - For the final 10 minutes of the first half against Indiana Tech, the University of Northwestern Ohio men's basketball played like the team everyone had been waiting for.
They dominated the glass against the taller Warriors, they won every loose ball and they flipped a 22-11 deficit into a 34-33 lead at halftime.
In the end, though, it was another frustrating loss for the Racers as they fell to 3-7 overall and 0-3 in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference with a 68-59 loss to Indiana Tech. The Warriors, who came into the matchup just outside of the NAIA Division II Top-25 at No. 26, improved to 9-2 and 1-2 in the WHAC.
The Racers were doomed by being on the wrong side of another run, this one a 16-4 burst by Indiana Tech which spanned over 10 minutes of the second half.
"We had the stretch in the second half where we had five straight turnovers," UNOH coach Chris Adams said. "That's been our bugaboo. We've been up at the half against Cornerstone and Indiana Tech, and we come out and play the first four minutes (of the second half) basically even, then we try to play catch up and lose by seven.
"It's been frustrating our inability to handle the pressure, but our youth kills us."
After the game, Adams repeatedly mentioned his pleasure with the effort his team showed, never more apparent than its run from a double-digit deficit to a one-point halftime lead. The run was highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers from Jake Bolyard and Chad Mossing.
The Warriors featured two players in their starting lineup listed at 6-foot-8, so the UNOH inside game of Dustin Guthrie and Todd Watkins faced an uphill battle. Watkins and Guthrie each made a pair of buckets in the run. Guthrie finished the first half with eight points and six boards, and Watkins had four points and five rebounds.
Meanwhile, Tech's Rodney Bartholomew and Chris Ware combined for only five rebounds before halftime and UNOH took a 20-11 rebounding edge into the half.
"Todd played very hard," Adams said. "Guthrie is playing more consistent, he keeps getting better and better."
Bolyard led UNOH with 20 points, his first 20-point game in four contests, making 6-of-7 2-point field goals.
Guthrie had 14 points and eight rebounds. Watkins added seven points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Mossing came off the bench to score eight points.
Bartholomew hit right on his average with 19 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out late in the game.
The loss is UNOH's sixth in a row, the last three in the league. The Racers will look to break the skid Saturday when they host the University of Michigan-Dearborn at 3 p.m.
"We have to win Saturday," Adams said.