The Alma Men's Basketball team lost to John Carroll University on Saturday afternoon in the first game of the Thanksgiving tournament at Spalding University (KY), 98-91. The Scots saw their record fall to 2-3 and will next play on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. against Spalding in the consolation game.
"We battled a very good John Carroll team tonight in the first game of the tournament," said Alma Head Coach Sam Hargraves. "Despite being a little sloppy and unsettled in the first half, we were still in a position to win towards the end of the game."
The game was a hot-shooting affair by both teams from the outset, and saw 10 lead changes in the first seven minutes of the contest. The last lead for the Scots in that sequence, and in the game, occurred at the 13:21 mark when Sr. F Tommy Erickson (Escanaba, Mich./Escanaba) put in a lay-up for a 20-17 advantage.
However, the Blue Streaks then went on a crushing 18-0 run over the next 5:30 to take a 35-20 lead. Alma cut the deficit to 48-42 on a three-pointer by Jr. G Chris Williamson (Fowlerville, Mich./Fowlerville) with 1:07 left in the half. John Carroll hit two free throws after that to take the 50-42 advantage into halftime. Alma shot 57% from the field, while JCU was good on 58% of their shots in the first 20 minutes.
Lance Jongekrijg had a career-high 26 points in loss to John Carroll, including eight three-pointers
As the second half developed, the Scots hung around and eventually started to whittle away at JCU's lead. A three-pointer by Jr. G Dustin DeShais (Ortonville, Mich./Brandon) made the score 73-69 with 10:21 left. Alma twice cut it to one point, the last being on a three-pointer by Jr. F Lance Jongekrijg (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland East) at the 6:37 mark.
However, that is the closest the Scots would come, as the Blue Streaks were able to expand the lead out to 10 points on two more occasions and earned the hard-fought 98-91 victory.
Jongekrijg led the Scots with a career-high 26 points and went eight for eight from beyond the arc. Jr. G Greg Silverthorn (Shepherd, Mich./Shepherd) was next with 15 points, while Erickson finished with 13 in the loss. Silverthorn also had team-highs with five rebounds and five assists.