The Charger men's basketball team lost in shocking and frustraing fashion on the road Thursday night.
Coming back from a 19-point first half deficit, Tiffin University defeated Hillsdale College in men's basketball for just the second time since it joined the GLIAC in 2008-09, 75-70 Thursday night in Ohio.
The loss, Hillsdale's third straight in three games played on the road in a five-day span, drops the team to 13-7 overall and 9-7 in the GLIAC. Hillsdale gets back home Saturday to host Ohio Dominican University at 3 p.m.
The Chargers jumped all over the Dragons early in the game, bombing shots from all over the court en route to taking a 29-10 lead with 9:20 to play in the first half. But Tiffin slowly chipped away at the lead, though it never actually took the lead in regulation, but did just enough to force an extra session.
Once there, the Dragons scored on their first three possessions to take control of the game. The Chargers were never able to play with the lead for much time in overtime, while the Dragons went 3-for-4 from the field and 5-for-6 from the free throw line in the extra period.
Each team missed a set of two free throws near the end of regulation, which left the Chargers holding a 64-62 lead with 13 seconds left. On regulation's final possession, Tiffin's Kelvin Toma hit a jump shot at the regulation buzzer to send the game to overtime.
Tiffin's athletic and active defense helped turned the game in the second half. The Dragons outscored the Chargers 16-0 on points off turnovers in the second half. Hillsdale was able to somewhat counter that with a 9-0 edge in second-chance points, but ultimately, it was Tiffin's edge at the foul line that proved to be a big difference.
The Dragons doubled the Chargers' free throw attempts (30-15) and held a 20-10 scoring advantage on made free throws. The difference in number of fouls called was not huge, 22-19, but Tiffin was able to be aggressive on offense, forcing the Chargers to foul while guarding.
Sophomore Kyle Cooper played a solid game in defeat with a team-high 22 points to go along with a career-high 5 blocked shots, including two on the game's first two possessions. Senior Tim Dezelski added 19 points with 9 rebounds and 6 assists while playing 44 of the game's 45 minutes. Senior Anthony Manno hit four 3-point field goals and scored 12 off the bench.
Photo courtesy of Jim Drews