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Charger Men Finish Off 2-0 Weekend With 80-71 Win Over ODU

Sophomore Nate Neveau probes the defense for openings. Photo credit: Todd Lancaster
Sophomore Nate Neveau probes the defense for openings. Photo credit: Todd Lancaster

Five players scored in double figures, including two off the bench, as the Hillsdale College men's basketball team continued its steady improvement this month in an 80-71 win over Ohio Dominican University Saturday afternoon at the Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena.

The Chargers have now completed the long road back to the .500 mark, improving to 10-10 on the season and 6-8 in the GLIAC, while the Panthers are 6-7 in conference play.

Each team held leads of at least nine points, though statistically, it was closely played by two teams angling for postseason tournament positioning.

The Chargers did enjoy a big edge on the boards (36-29), and were able to convert 13 offensive rebounds into 19 second-half points. Hillsdale outscored ODU 19-10 on points in the paint, matching the game's final result.

Leading the inside scoring was rapidly improving sophomore Nick Czarnowski, who came off the bench to score 14 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field. Czarnowski has scored 10 or more points in four straight games, and is establishing himself as a consistent finisher near the basket.

Junior Ryan Badowski led the Chargers with 22 points, nailing four 3-point baskets in one of his most aggressive, but efficient, offensive performances. Badowski also grabbed 10 rebounds, as he played with energy at both ends throughout 33 physical minutes on the floor.

Senior Rhett Smith scored 12 points while fighting foul trouble, and sophomore Nate Neveau had 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists in another well-rounded performance.

After a Sam Hickey 3-pointer, Ohio Dominican took a nine-point lead midway through the first half. But Hillsdale settled down defensively, and outscored the Panthers 21-10 over the final nine minutes of the half to take a 36-34 lead at intermission. Hillsdale never trailed in the second half.

UP NEXT: Hillsdale begins the second half of South Division play at Findlay Thursday night.