The Hillsdale College men's basketball team showed a lot of good things, even in a losing effort in its home opener Thursday night.
The Chargers rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to tie the game with Ferris State, but could not quite get over the top in a 72-67 loss to the defending Division II national champions at Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena. The loss drops Hillsdale to 2-1 on the season.
Ferris State did a great job of rebounding and making tough shots en route to taking a 37-24 lead at the end of the first half. But as the second half wore on, the Chargers started running their offense better and displayed all their best characteristics on defense, being active in the passing lanes and physical from all angles of the court.
A 13-2 run was capped by a Nick Czarnowski layup to make the score 61 all with 4:53 to go in the game. But the Bulldogs responded impressively, going on a 9-4 run to create just enough separation to hang on for the victory.
Hillsdale improved its field goal shooting from 29 percent in the first half to 53 percent in the second half while getting nine more shot attempts than it had in the first half, a sign of the team's improved activity on the boards and on defense. The teams were dead even in rebounding 34-34, but the Bulldogs did enjoy a big edge in 3-point shooting, outscoring Hillsdale 27-12 from that spot on the court.
Four of Hillsdale's five starters hit double figures, led by 15 from junior guard Dylan Lowry. Czarnowski and Nate Neveau had 13 each, and Davis Larson finished with 11. Neveau collected a season-high 10 rebounds with 3 assists and 4 steals.
PHOTO: MaryKate Drews