Alma Men's Basketball defeats Finlandia University 103-94 on Wednesday evening

Alma Men's Basketball took on Finlandia at home Wednesday night and came away with an exciting 103-94 victory. The Scots, who have yet to play a league game this season, are now 4-6. The Lions, under the direction of former Alma Head Coach Terry Smith, finished the game with a record of 5-9 in 2011-12.

"Tonight was a very good win for us against a scrappy Finlandia team," said Scots Head Coach Sam Hargraves. "We still need to continue to improve on playing with a lead and not getting tight as the game goes on. But, I thought we did some really good things offensively, minus the turnovers."

As expected, the game was played at a very fast pace and the Scots were up to the challenge. After two early ties, Finlandia took their only lead of the game at 9-8 three and half a minutes into it. A jumper by Jr. G Greg Silverthorn (Shepherd, Mich./Shepherd) a few seconds later gave Alma the 10-9 advantage, and the Scots would not trail the rest of the first frame. 

Greg Silverthorn paced the Scots with 18 points in the win over Finlandia

A lay-up by Silverthorn gave Alma an 11-point lead at 26-15 at 12:06, but the Lions would hand around the whole half, cutting the deficit to two once and three points twice in the next five minutes.

However, the Scots gained their biggest lead of the half when Jr. G Caleb VanTimmeren (Coopersville, Mich./Coopersville) put in a lay-up at 2:10. Alma went into halftime with the 53-45 lead. Both teams shot well, as Alma finished 20 of 36 (56%), while the Lions hit on 18 of 39 attempts (46%).

The second half was more of the same, as both teams kept the up tempo pace and as a result, the game stayed competitive. The squads traded baskets to the point where Alma still had a seven-point lead at 78-71 at the midway point of the half.

But, this was an evening that Scots were not going to give up. The scrappy Lions never quit, even after having a deficit of 12 points with less than seven minutes to go. The visitors twice cut the Alma lead to six points, the last being with 2:06 remaining. But, the home team was determined to win and held on for the 103-94 victory. 

Silverthorn led the Scots with 18 points and had a team-high nine rebounds, while five other players scored in double figures. Sr. F Tommy Erickson (Escanaba, Mich./Escanaba) had 16 points and seven boards, Sr. G Cory Schneider (Carson City, Mich./Carson City-Crystal) finished with 15 points on five three-pointers and Jr. F Lance Jongekrijg (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland East) connected on three from beyond the arc and tallied 12 points.

Cory Schneider hit five three pointers good for 15 total points on Wednesday evening

Additionally, So. F Jacob Murawske (Harbor Beach, Mich./Harbor Beach) pitched in with 11 points and seven rebounds and Jr. G Dustin DeShais (Ortonville, Mich./Brandon) finished with 10 points on the evening. One of the keys to the win was the overall shooting of the Scots, who finished at 53% (35 of 66) from the floor.

Alma will next play at Baldwin-Wallace College (Ohio) on Friday, December 30, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

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