This one was for the seniors and by a senior.
Hillsdale College's men's basketball team honored its six graduating seniors in a pregame ceremony, then was able to carry that positive energy over into a big 86-73 win over Walsh University before the biggest crowd of the season at the Hillsdale College Arena.
The Chargers are now 17-8 overall and 13-8 in the GLIAC, and move back into third place in the South Division, thanks to Maleon's loss to Findlay.
Senior forward Tim Dezelski, who was one of the recognized players at Senior Day, played one of his best games of his career with 33 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocked shots in 33 dominant minutes on the court. He was simply unstoppable as he smartly found his way through and around the Cavaliers' defense, and was on the receiving end of some terrific passes by his teammates.
In the first meeting of the season between these teams, Walsh humbled Hillsdale to the tune of an 82-58 blowout. It was one of the most one-sided defeats the Chargers have had in recent years, which makes this victory that much sweeter.
The Chargers got off to a flying start in this game, playing flawless basketball at both ends of the floor in taking a 33-14 lead 12 minutes into the game. But the Cavs recovered, forcing a number of turnovers and eventually cut the lead down to as few as five in the first half.
The second half was played at a high level by both teams, as the intensity ran high. Hillsdale never trailed in the game, although the Cavs cut the lead to as little as four early in the second half.
Hillsdale shot 52 percent in the game (29-for-55) compared to just 32 percent for the Cavs (21-for-64). Hillsdale enjoyed a big edge on the boards (45-29), and distributed 18 assists on 29 made field goals.
Sophomore forward Kyle Cooper is well on his way to the kind of career Dezelski's had, and finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocked shots in just 23 minutes on the floor. Sophomore guard Zach Miller came off the bench to make all four of his shots and had 14 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
Hillsdale plays the final home game of the regular season Thursday night against arch0rival Findlay at 8 p.m.