November 15, 2012 - Basketball is a game of many skills, and Thursday night, the Hillsdale College men's basketball team exercised mastery over one very important skill.
The Chargers put together a dominating effort on the boards on their way to a 69-54 regional win over St. Joseph's College at Jesse Philips Arena. Hillsdale now enters a short Thanksgiving break with a 2-0 record before hosting another talented GLVC foe, Lewis University, on Sunday, Nov. 25.
The Chargers outrebounded the Pumas 50-36, effectively counter-attacking a team that was using an active, aggressive style on defense.
Hillsdale never trailed, but had to hold off a number of St. Joseph attempts to tighten the game. With the Pumas playing tight on the ball, the Chargers stayed patient with their movement offense and eventually found bigger and bigger cracks in the opposition defense as the game wore along.
A 15-3 run in the second half extended the lead to a game-high 20, 67-47, and Hillsdale was well on its way to its second victory in two outings this season.
Leading the dominating rebounding effort for Hillsdale was junior forward Tim Dezelski, who grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds, 15 on the defensive end. Controlling the boards meant fewer second-chance opportunities for the Pumas, who shot 30 percent from the field in the contest.
Dezelski also registered his second double-double in as many games, scoring 10 points.
Junior guard Anthony Manno showed the dangerous shooting stroke that makes him such a valued member of the team after missing all of 2011-12 with an injury. He swished all four of his 3-point attempts, finishing with 12 points on the night.
Junior guard Brandon Pritzl led the Chargers' balanced offensive attack with 13, going 7-for-8 from the free throw line to go along with a team-high five assists. Junior guard Derek Schell had another excellent game in his second career start, finishing with 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting, with two assists.
Pritzl and junior Darius Ware contributed big-time to the rebounding domination with 17 boards between them. Ware's nine boards are a career-high for the high-flying guard.
Senior center Nick Washburn made his 2012-13 season debut for the Chargers, and had four points, five rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots. Although he made just one shot from the floor, Washburn adjusted to St. Joseph's double teams better and better throughout the game, and was active and mobile defensively.
Hillsdale outscored St. Joseph's 34-23 in the second half, and the Pumas made just five of their 19 3-point field goal attempts. Corey Clifton led the Pumas with 18 points in the ballgame.