The Scots Men's Basketball team concluded the Alma Thanksgiving Classic on Sunday afternoon with a 69-66 triumph over Heidelberg University at Art Smith Arena. Alma went 1-1 on the weekend to finish in second place for the tournament.
Ohio Northern University, by virtue of winning both their games, took first place with a 2-0 mark. In addition, Heidelberg finished 1-1 during the weekend, while Finlandia University concluded the tournament at 0-2.
Alma Fr. G DJ Beckman (Shelby, Mich./Shelby) was named to the All Tournament team for his efforts over the weekend. He was joined by Ohio Northern Jr. G Branden Rushton, Ohio Northern So. G Isaiah Roux, Finlandia Jr. G Keith Arnold and Sr. F Nate Davis.
Today's win for the Scots was a hard earned affair that went back and forth all the way down to the final buzzer. But, in the end, Alma was able to pull out the three point victory over the Student Princes.
"We turned our shootaround this morning into about an hour and a half defensive practice," said Alma Head Coach Sam Hargraves. "It was the best thing we could've done. I want us to have a defense first mentality and we have gotten away from that the past week. This team will be a work in progress all year but we made some strides today.
"I thought we had a very successful tournament and it was nice to get three other teams up here to play in our gym. I hope the fans enjoyed watching it as much as we did playing in it."
The first half today saw the score tied six times between the Berg and Alma and the first 20 minutes ended with the Student Princes holding a 35-34 advantage. Heidelberg shot 43% from the field in the first half while the Scots finished at 42%.
In the final 20 minutes, there were nine lead changes in a game that never saw either team lead by more than six points. The final change happened with 1:39 remaining when Beckman hit a jumper to give the Scots a 64-63 lead. Alma would add one more basket to walk off the court with the 66-63 victory.
Alma finished with a 41% shooting average from the floor (28 of 68) and had four players have double digit scoring afternoons - Beckman (17) followed by Sr. F Greg Silverthorn (Shepherd, Mich./Shepherd) with 12, Sr. G Dustin DeShais (Ortonville, Mich./Brandon) with 11 and Jr. G Brandon Krause (Sanford, Mich./Meridian), who finished with 10.
Jr. F Isiah Law (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) led the Scots with nine rebounds and added eight points and a team-high four assists. In addition, Sr. F Brian Sheridan (New Lothrop, Mich./New Lothrop) was valuable off the bench with eight boards, seven points and three big free throws in the second half.
The Scots next play on Wednesday evening when they travel to Defiance (Ohio) for a 8:00 p.m. contest.
2012 Alma College Thanksgiving Classic - All Tournament Team
Alma Fr. G, DJ Beckman - 14.0 ppg, 3.0 apg, went 9/9 from free throw line
ONU So. G, Isaiah Roux - 13.0 ppg, led tournament with 5.0 apg, shot 8/10 from the free throw line
ONU Jr. G, Branden Rushton - Led tournament with 24.0 ppg, shot 78.3%, 3.0 apg
Heidelberg Sr. F, Nate Davis - 20.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg.
Finlandia Jr. G, Keith Arnold - 23.5 ppg, 2nd in tournament with 4.5 apg, led tournament with 35.0 mpg