The Hillsdale College men's basketball team exited the SDC Gymnasium for the last time in the regular season Thursday night still seeking its first conference win of the year.
Michigan Tech was able to capitalize on Hillsdale turnovers down the stretch, and hung on for a 71-65 win over the Chargers in Houghton. The loss drops Hillsdale to 4-7 overall and 0-5 in the GLIAC.
Another frustrating loss for the Chargers saw them outshoot (47-41 percent) and outrebound (35-24) the host Huskies. But turnovers were the main factor in the game, as Michigan Tech coughed up the basketball just seven times compared to 20 for Hillsdale. The Huskies had a corresponding 21-9 edge in points off turnovers, a huge issue in a game that was closely played throughout.
The teams were tied at 58 late in the second half. But four Hillsdale turnovers down the stretch ended up translating to nine MTU points, all coming on made 3-point shots. They were the type of plays that gave Michigan Tech energy and confidence playing off its raucous home crowd.
Giving the Chargers a huge boost in the first half was sophomore guard Harrison Niego, who made his Hillsdale debut in this game. He poured in 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting in the first half, making his mark quickly on his new team after spending his freshman season at Indiana University. He drained three 3-point baskets in the half.
Senior center Nick Archer led Hillsdale with a career-high 20 points, matching Niego's stat line of 7 for 10 shooting from the field. He also grabbed eight rebounds in the loss.
UP NEXT: Hillsdale plays at Northern Michigan at 3 p.m. Saturday.