January 10, 2012 - What a diffrerence five days can make.
Last Saturday, the Hillsdale College men's basketball team registered its lowest-scoring game in 31 years. Thursday night, the Chargers put together their finest offensive performance of the season in a 96-78 victory over Tiffin University in Ohio.
The win snaps Hillsdale's two-game losing streak and is its first of the 2013 calendar year. The Chargers will play at home Saturday afternoon, hosting Ohio Dominican University.
Hillsdale improved its offensive output by an amazing 55 points from Saturday's loss to Thursday's win. The Chargers scored 41 points in the entire game in a loss to Saginaw Valley State, and had 49 points by halftime against Tiffin.
Accuracy from behind the 3-point arc was the biggest difference in this game, and driving that impact was junior Anthony Manno. The guard scored a career-high 19 points, 17 coming in the first half on five 3-point field goals. Manno's shooting provides an invaluable dimension to the Charger offense with his ability to move away from the ball and stretch the defense with his deadly shooting.
Manno's shooting seemed to break the Hillsdale offense wide open. Junior forward Tim Dezelski registered the second-best shooting performance from the field in school history when he put down 10 of his 11 attempts from the field while picking up a team-high 24 points to go along with seven rebounds. Dezelski and Manno are an ideal complementary pair with their inside-outside offensive skills.
As a team, Hillsdale shot 67 percent (12-for-18) from 3-point territory. The team was on a school-record pace until the game's final three minutes, as the Chargers made 12 of their first 16 shots from behind the arc. Earlier this season, Hillsdale shot 67.4 percent from 3-point land in a win over Ferris State.
Junior guard Brandon Pritzl had 13 points while senior center Nick Washburn added 10. Senior Ryan Choiniere engineered the offense very well with a career-high seven assists. As a team, Hillsdale had 24 assists on 33 made field goals, a ratio that typically leads to a victory.
Photo courtesy of Rob Washburn