The Hillsdale College men's basketball team picked up a Christmas present a few days early Sunday afternoon. But this present wasn't given in the name of charity or seasonal giving - it was earned.
The Chargers broke open a tie game with an 18-7 run to finish off a 75-64 win over the Quincy University Hawks. Hillsdale, the champions of the 2013 QU Subway Holiday Classic, is now 5-3 overall and has won three straight. The team is in action Thursday, Jan. 2 at Grand Valley State.
Hillsdale won the tournament trophy with some gritty, clutch play against the Hawks in a game that featured five ties and nine lead changes, clamped down over the game's final three minutes, scoring on its final 10 possessions in a row to close out the victory. In the game's final 3:58, Hillsdale held Quincy to just two made field goals, while forcing four misses and two turnovers over its last eight possessions.
Making key shots in both halves was sophomore guard Garrett Jones, who broke out in a big way with a career-high 20 points in 23 minutes off the bench. He scored 13 in the first half, helping the Chargers rally from an early nine-point deficit. He later buried a key 3-pointer that extended Hillsdale's lead to four points, 62-58, with 2:55 to play, The shot proved to be a backbreaking one for the Hawks, who would only score two of the game's next nine points.
Jones was 7-for-8 from the floor and hit four 4-point field goals.
Senior forward Tim Dezelski was named tournament MVP nad had another fine all-around performance. A day after scoring his 1,000th career point, Dezelski filled all the columns in the stats sheet with 19 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.
Sophomore forward Kyle Cooper led all scorers Sunday with 22 points, hitting 7 of his 8 free throws while grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking a career-high 3 shots. All three of his blocks came in the game's first four minutes.
Hillsdale dominated Quincy on the boards, 38-29, and held the Hawks to 40 percent shooting in the game.