January 17, 2013 – For 36 minutes, it appeared as if the Hillsdale College men's basketball team might suffer its first-ever loss to Lake Erie College Thursday night. But the Chargers rose up in crunch time to prevent that from happening.
Thanks to some big baskets by junior Tim Dezelski and clutch two-way play by guard Derek Schell, Hillsdale turned the game around in the final four minutes with a 14-1 run that helped it get away from Painesville, Ohio with a 59-52 victory.
Coupled with Findlay's 61-60 loss to Ashland, Hillsdale is now tied with the Oilers for first place in the GLIAC South Division with a 7-4 conference record. The Chargers are 11-4 overall and play at Ashland at 1:00 Saturday afternoon.
The Storm were playing an active, spirited game at home, and held a 51-45 lead on the Chargers with less than five minutes to play. After a free throw by Dezelski, Schell got one of his best stretches of play started with his second 3-pointer of the night to suddenly make it a two-point deficit. After a loose-ball scramble, junior guard Darius Ware converted a Brandon Pritzl steal into a layup, tying the game at 51 with 3:13 to play.
A driving lefthanded layup by Dezelski gave Hillsdale the lead for good with 2:11 to go. Three more free throws by the Chargers sealed the team's third straight win.
In the final six minutes of the game, Schell was credited with a block, drew a charge, made a key 3-point basket, and had the assist on Dezelski's go-ahead layup. He played 13 minutes in the game and finished with six points, making both of his 3-point attempts.
Dezelski, the reigning GLIAC South Division Player of the Week, played up to those lofty standards by leading the team with 18 points in 35 minutes. He went 6-for-9 from the floor and made all three of his 3-point attempts. Over his last three games – all Hillsdale wins – Dezelski has made 25 of his 31 shots from the field, an unbelievable 81 percent clip.
Senior center Nick Washburn helped get Hillsdale off to a good start in the second half by scoring eight straight points for his team. He finished with 12 points, six rebounds and a blocked shot while going 4-for-5 from the floor. Four other players scored between five and seven points for Hillsdale.
The Chargers shot 9-for-16 from 3-point territory, but nearly cost themselves the game by missing seven of 15 shots from the free throw line. As a team, Hillsdale outshot Lake Erie by percentage 51-40 and were plus-two on the boards (29-27).