The Alma College Men's Basketball team will hosted MIAA foe Olivet College on Saturday afternoon at Art Smith Arena and dropped gut-wrenching 88-86 decision at Art Smith Arena. The host Scots now stand at 3-7 in the league and 7-14 overall, while the Comets improved to 2-8 in the MIAA and 4-17 on the season.
It was a tale of two very distinct halves of basketball, as Alma forged a 19 lead at the break on lights out shooting, only to have the Comets outscore the them by 21 points in the second frame to take the road win.
"After such a positive first half, it is very disappointing to let the lead slip away and lose a game that we could have won," said Alma Head Coach Sam Hargraves. "We have been in these situations before and have not been able to close out games. To get to the next level, we need to become mentally tougher and find a way to win this type of game."
The first half was a fast paced affair and closely contested for most of it, as the game was tied at 29-29 with 7:38 remaining. However, the Scots used explosive shooting to outscore the Comets by a mark of 27-8 and took a 56-37 advantage into halftime. Alma shot 63% in the first frame, including nine of 14 from beyond the arc.
In the second half, the Scots maintained a healthy lead for the first 10 minutes, leading 73-58 with 9:51 remaining. But, Olivet started chipping away and went on a 16-2 run that cut the deficit to one, 75-74, at the 5:57 mark. The Scots made it 83-79 on a lay-up by Sr. F Tommy Erickson (Escanaba, Mich./Escanaba) with 3:46 left, but the Comets didn't let up.
Olivet outscored Alma by a mark of 9-3 the rest of the way and took an 87-86 lead on a lay-up with 37 seconds remaining. After the Comets hit on one of two free throws, the Scots had a chance to tie or win the game with seven seconds left, but were unable to get a shot off.
Erickson led the way for the Scots with 19 points, while Sr. G Cory Schneider (Carson City, Mich./CC-Crystal) was next with 17 (five three-pointers), while Jr. G Greg Silverthorn (Shepherd, Mich./Shepherd) finished with 13. Schneider also had a team-high seven rebounds and Erickson recorded four blocked shots.
The Scots travel to Grand Rapids on Wednesday evening and will take on Calvin College, beginning at 8:00 p.m.