After three close, frustrating defeats to open conference play, the Charger men's basketball team snapped its losing streak emphatically in an 88-64 win over Northern Michigan University Monday night at the Hillsdale College arena.
The Chargers are now 3-3 overall and 1-3 in the GLIAC, and head south this weekend for regional games against Quincy and Truman State in Illinois.
Hillsdale shot 63 percent from the field in the second half, outscoring the visiting Wildcats 49-32, stretching a seven-point halftime margin into its most one-sided win of the season. For the game, Hillsdale shot 56 percent from the field, while making nine of 17 shots from 3-point territory. The team's 88 points were tied for the most in a game this season, and its 30 field goals made were a season-high.
Sophomore forward Kyle Cooper drained a 3-pointer on the game's first possession, setting an appropriate tone for the evening. He finished the game with a new career-high of 24 points, on 11-of-17 shooting from the field. He tacked on 6 rebounds and 3 assists in a complete performance. Cooper was aggressive in looking for his shot, and was rewarded with his biggest scoring game of his young career.
Senior forward Tim Dezelski continued his hot play of late, matching Cooper with a game-high 24 points. Dezelski played smart basketball positionally on the low post all night, and shot 70 percent from the field. He also helped force the Wildcats into foul trouble and took full advantage, making 10 of his 12 free throw attempts.
The Chargers led by 4 in the first half, but an 11-3 run extended the lead to 12 and the Wildcats never seriously threatened after that. Hillsdale had 19 assists on 30 made field goals, and limited the Wildcats to 32 percent shooting in the second half.
Senior guard Brandon Pritzl scored 11 points for Hillsdale. The Chargers also welcomed the return of sophomore point guard Zach Miller, who showed plenty of promise with 3 points and an assist in 7 minutes on the floor. As Miller rounds into game shape, look for him to play a more significant role in the offense.