he Alma College Men's Basketball team hit the road on Saturday afternoon to take on host Adrian College and won 69-68 in a thrilling MIAA contest. With the win, the Scots improved their record to 8-15 overall and 4-8 in the league, while the Bulldogs are 14-8 on the season and 7-5 in the MIAA.
"I am really proud of the guys for finishing the game today, as we have been close before but not gotten the win," said Alma Head Coach Sam Hargraves. "Our defensive energy and effort got it done. We were fortunate that they missed some free throws, but at least we made them make those instead of giving them baskets."
Tommy Erickson led Alma with 18 points in the win over Adrian on Saturday afternoon
The first half was a relatively low scoring affair that saw Alma take a 2-0 lead and then not have an advantage again in the first 20 minutes. The Bulldogs' biggest lead was at 10, when they took a 27-17 advantage at the 3:16 mark. The Scots would outscore Adrian 7-3 the rest of the way to go into the locker room on the wrong end of a 30-24 game.
The second half started as though the Bulldogs would be able to hold off the visiting Scots as they increased their advantage to 13 points at 45-32 with 13:53 left in the game. However, Alma went on a 23-9 run over the next 6:24 and took a 55-54 lead on a three-pointer by Sr. G Cory Schneider (Carson City, Mich./CC-Crystal) at 7:29.
The game would remain close the rest of the way, as it was tied four times, the last being at 67-67 at the 1:29 mark. Adrian had fought back from a five-point deficit after Jr. G Chris Williamson (Fowlerville, Mich./Fowlerville) hit two free throws for a 66-61 lead with 3:38 to go.
Jr. G Greg Silverthorn (Shepherd, Mich./Shepherd) connected on two free throws with 48 seconds remaining for a 69-67 Alma advantage. The Scots survived three turnovers and reaped the benefit of some missed shots, both from the field and from the line, to hold on for the 69-68 victory.
Sr. F Tommy Erickson (Escanaba, Mich./Escanaba) paced the Scots with 18 points and he added seven rebounds, while Williamson and Schneider were next with 14 and 11 points respectively. After not getting to the foul line in the first half, Alma hit 14 of 19 free throws in the second frame and shot 51% (25 of 49) overall from the field for the game.
The Scots will next play on Wednesday evening, when they host Albion College, beginning at 8:00 p.m. at Art Smith Arena.