A good chunk of the seven-game winning streak put together by the Hillsdale College men's basketball team has come courtesy of its tenacious and disciplined defense.
But Thursday night, the pace of the game dictated that points would be needed in greater quantities, and the Chargers were up to the task.
Hillsdale won an entertaining and intense game against Tiffin University 81-76 at the Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena. The win keeps Hillsdale in a tie for first in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference at 11-2, with an overall record of 15-5.
Five players scored in double figures as the Chargers poured in 45 second-half points to erase a two-point halftime deficit. Hillsdale jumped on Tiffin quickly, taking a 22-11 lead less than eight minutes into the game. But the Dragons, the G-MAC's highest scoring team, put that firepower to work, outscoring the Chargers 27-14 over the final 12 minutes of the half.
The second half featured fast-paced basketball on both ends. Tiffin led 55-51 with 13:38 to go in the game. But at that point, the Chargers upped the intensity on both ends of the floor, and used a 15-4 run over the next four minutes to take the lead for good. Six different players scored points in that run, which began with a 3-pointer by senior forward Gordon Behr.
Sophomore guard Connor Hill logged 22 minutes his most in a game since Dec. 8, and made them count with some tough ballhandling and shot-making in the paint. He had 11 points and 3 assistsm going 4-for-5 from the field in a strong effort off the bench.
Senior center Nick Czarnowski played his second consecutive strong game, leading the Chargers with 17 points on 8-for-12 shooting.
Sophomore forward Davis Larson had 14 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists, and junior guard Dylan Lowry scored 13, many of those coming in transition. Senior guard Harrison Niego added 10, 8 of them coming early when the Chargers built a fast lead.
PHOTO: MaryKate Drews