November 9, 2012 - The Hillsdale College men's basketball team put a second-half strangelhold in Olivet College en route to a season-opening win Friday night.
The Chargers held the Comets to nine points in the first 11 minutes of the second half on their way to a 92-62 non-league victory before more than 400 fans at Jesse Philips Arena. Hillsdale, 1-0 on the season, will welcome GLVC foe St. Joseph's College for its next game at 7 p.m. Thursday.
In recent years, the Chargers have featured enviable balance in its scoring and Friday's opener was no different. Without two projected starters, the Chargers achieved the balance that figures to make them tough to defend all year long.
Junior forward Tim Dezelski had an excellent all-around game with 18 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. He effectively used his size advantage inside and was a focal point of the team's motion offense, finding his teammates who knocked down jumpers throughout the night.
The Chargers shot 55 percent from the floor in the game, including 60 percent (18-for-30) in the first half. Hillsdale was patient against the smallish, but quick Olivet defense. Hillsdale also shot 48 percnt from 3-point land, draining 14 of its 29 attempts from beyond the arc.
Several players made their collegiate debut, or returned to action after missing last season. One such returnee was guard Anthony Manno, who scored 12 points off the bench for the Chargers. Manno missed all of the 2011-12 season with an injury, but showed no signs of rust, as he moved without the ball and passed comfortably within the team's offense. He knocked down two 3-point field goals in the win.
In his first collegiate start, junior point guard Derek Schell was very impressive, making needle-threading passes while handling ball pressure with ease. He had six points and five assists in 19 minutes on the floor.
Brandon Pritzl, Tony Nelson and Darius Ware all scored nine points each for the Chargers. Freshman Kyle Cooper made his collegiate debut and swished a pair of 3-pointers on his way to eight points. Senior Ryan Choiniere also had eight points, making all three of his shots from the floor. Freshman Jason Pretzer also made his debut in Charger blue, getting three points, five rebounds and three assists in 10 minutes.