ADRIAN, Mich. – Senior guard Cody Barnes has had a flair for the dramatic this season and it continued on Wednesday evening as he hit a game-winning three-pointer with 0.3 seconds left to give the men's basketball team a big 74-73 win over visiting Alma College. The Bulldogs dropped three of their first four conference games and needed a win to help them regain momentum that they had earlier this season.
Sophomore guard Eric Lewis had a phenomenal night of the offensive end for the Bulldogs (13-3, 2-3) with a career-high 32 points eclipsing his previous high of 27 set on Nov. 18, 2011 versus Hunter. Lewis also went above 500 career points as he entered the contest with 491. Lewis finished the game shooting 10-of-20 from the field and 11-of-16 from the free throw line (tying his career-best in made free throws). He also grabbed seven rebounds and recorded three steals in 34 minutes.
Sophomore forward Adam Meier grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds (six offensive) and also poured in 15 points including 11 in the second half. Meier actually recorded a double-double in the second half with 10 rebounds.
Alma led 38-36 at halftime in a 20-minute period which included eight ties and four lead changes. In the second half, Adrian's defense rounded back into form during the middle stages of the period. The Bulldogs went on an 18-5 run over a 7:58 segment to take an eight-point lead at 66-58 with 5:07 to play. Adrian again led by eight at 68-60 with just 3:10 left before Alma got right back into it with eight straight points to tie the game for the 13th time at 68-68 with 1:37 remaining.
Meier had his biggest play of the game with 1:06 left as he converted on a layup and was fouled. He missed the free throw but Lewis grabbed the board and was fouled. Lewis made the first and missed the second freebie to give Adrian a 71-68 lead. Scott Nikodemski cut the lead to 71-70 with 52 ticks left and Alma called a timeout. Lewis turned the ball over on the next possession but Nikodemski could not make a great pass to a teammate while falling out of bounds as senior forward Sean Gallant picked up a steal.
The game was stopped by the officials to check the shot clock. It did reset because possession had been established by Alma, but after play resumed an Adrian turnover led to Brandon Krause hitting a jumper in the lane with 20 seconds to go giving Alma a 72-71 lead. Lewis had a shot to give Adrian the lead back but his layup was a bit off and Krause grabbed the rebound with seven seconds left. Krause was injured on the play and head coach Mark White elected Kyle Benthem to take the free throws for the Scots. Benthem made the first but missed the second which led to the dramatic finish. Gallant got the board and shuffled it to Barnes who took aim from the left wing a foot behind the arc with a hand in his face and drilled the game-winner with 0.3 seconds to go.