Four times this season the Hillsdale College men's basketball team has played on the road.
Four times the Chargers have come home with victories.
The latest came in a gritty victory, 78-71, over Tiffin University in Ohio Saturday afternoon. The win makes the Chargers 5-3 overall and 2-0 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
Hillsdale will play five of its next six at home, starting Thursday night against Walsh University.
With 14 minutes to go in this game, the Chargers were cruising, holding their biggest lead of the season, 53-38. The offense was clicking and the defense was doing a good job of making the Dragons take tough shots to get points.
However, Tiffin made an impressive comeback, rallying to come within one point, 64-63, with 3:17 to go. A 25-11 run seriously tightened the game up, and the Dragons, playing at home with momentum, were poised to take the lead.
However, a clutch 3-point shot by senior Jack Cordes was a key part of a game-ending 14-8 run by Hillsdale. Cordes's shot came right after two made free throws by Davis Larson that seemed to sap some of Tiffin's momentum at that point in the game.
Sophomore guard Connor Hill, who scored a career-high 10 points, made all four of his free throws in the final seconds of the game to keep Hillsdale on top. Hill went 8-for-8 from the free throw line, delivering important points for Hillsdale in its fourth consecutive road win to start the season.
Hill was one of five Chargers to score in double digits, led by 17 from junior guard Dylan Lowry. Senior Gordon Behr added 14 points and 5 rebounds while senior guard Harrison Niego had another nice game with 14 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the floor. Larson finished with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
The Chargers outrebounded the Dragons 34-28 and were plus-4 (7-3) on offensive rebounds, providing a key margin in a game that was statistically close up and down the final box score.
PHOTO: MaryKate Drews