After facing an 11-point halftime deficit, the Hillsdale College men's basketball team came out in the second half and dug in for an inspired defensive performance which was key in picking up a good regional win at home.
The Chargers outscored Lewis University by 24 points in the second half in rolling to a 71-58 victory at the Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena. The win makes Hillsdale 4-1 on the young season.
Entering the intermission, the Flyers were doing an excellent job of getting to the basket and beating the Chargers off the dribble in extending out to a 38-27 lead. Lewis mixed up its defenses and made Hillsdale work extra hard for its shots. But whatever strategy adjustments coach John Tharp put together in the locker room ended up working like a charm.
With senior guard Stedman Lowry popping in a pair of 3-point shots early in the half, Hillsdale adhered to its defensive principles in forcing Lewis outside of its comfortable places shooting the ball. With Lowry's outside shooting looosening up the Flyer defense, Hillsdale got better player movement and ball movement on offense, and slowly grabbed control of the game.
Hillsdale outscored Lewis 44-20 in the second half and held the Flyers to just eight made field goals in the game's final 20 minutes. It was a matter of Hillsdale simply working harder through ball screens and not giving the Flyer players any room to move, or any good options with their passes as Hillsdale flipped the 11-point deficit into a double-digit lead in the latter part of the second half.
Lowry was on target from long range, making 6-of-12 3-point attempts for a team-high 20 points in the game. Senior Ryan Badowski scored 16 and junior Nick Czarnowski had 12 for the Chargers. Junior guard Nate Neveau engineered the team's more effective offense in the second half and handed out 9 assists to go with 6 points and 5 rebounds. Junior forward Gordon Behr logged 35 gritty minutes on the floor and had 9 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 assists.
Hillsdale wraps up play at the Hillside Lanes Classic at home at 4 p.m. Wednesday against the Purdue Northwest Pride, a team brand-new to the GLIAC this year.