The best first half of the season paved the way for the third win in a row for the Hillsdale College men's basketball team.
Playing with a laser-sharp focus at both ends of the court, the Chargers raced out to a 26-point lead by halftime and rolled to an 85-70 win over Tiffin University in Ohio Saturday afternoon.
The hard-charging Chargers, 6-1 in their last seven games, are now 13-11 overall and 9-9 in the GLIAC. Thanks to Ohio Dominican's loss to Walsh, Hillsdale is now in sole possession of third place in the GLIAC South Division, the last automatic qualifying spot for the GLIAC Tournament.
Starters Nick Archer and Stedman Lowry had marquee games, the Charger bench was terrific in this game, scoring a total of 28 points, outscoring Tiffin's reserves by 20 in the win. Sophomore center Nick Czarnowski, a revelation in the second half of the season, led this group with 12 points and three rebounds in just 15 minutes of action.
Sophomore guard Harrison Niego was a big part of Hillsdale's first-half push, scoring all 8 of his points early in the half as Hillsdale established early control of the game.
The Hillsdale defense held Tiffin to 25 percent shooting (6-of-24) in the first half, while doing an outstanding job of getting to the free throw line. The Chargers went 16-for-20 from the line in the first half. By comparison, there have been 17 games this season when the team shot fewer than 20 free throws.
Junior guard Stedman Lowry's first basket of the game, a fast-break layup, put him into the Hillsdale College history books. He became the 37th player in program history to score 1,000 career points. He's a rare player that achieved that total in his junior season, a testament to his consistency and dynamite 3-point shooting from the first day of his active career back in the fall of 2014. Charger fans will be treated to one more season of Lowry's scoring prowess.
Senior center Nick Archer had a dominant game for Hillsdale, scoring a career-high 22 points on 8-for-11 shooting from the floor. He made two 3-point baskets and pulled down six rebounds in a signature performance, coming right before Senior Night.
Lowry scored 10 for the Chargers, while younger brother Dylan Lowry came off the bench to score 7 points. Sophomore guard Nate Neveau was steady as always with 11 points, six rebounds and five assists. Senior Rhett Smith added 6 points and five assists to Hillsdale's big road win.
UP NEXT: Hillsdale hosts Lake Erie College at 8 p.m. Thursday, the final home game of the season for the Chargers