ADRIAN, Mich. – The Adrian College men's basketball team defeated Kalamazoo College 80-77 on Saturday, Feb. 16 to end its season on a three-game winning streak. Four Bulldogs hit double-digit points and it was the team's third-highest scoring game this season.
Final Score: Adrian 80, Kalamazoo 77
Location: Adrian, Mich. (Merillat Sport & Fitness Center)
Records: Adrian 6-19 (3-11 MIAA), Kalamazoo 7-18 (4-10 MIAA)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Kalamazoo took a 10-point lead quickly and looked like it would run away with the game early after extending it to 12 points midway through the half. The Bulldogs showed the fight and spark that has been present the past few weeks and battled back, cutting the Hornets' lead to as little as three. AC just couldn't quite get over the hump in the first 20 minutes and trailed by seven, 42-35 at the half. Kalamazoo was hot in the first half, shooting 63% from all areas on the floor, including going 7-15 from deep for 46.7% Their leading scorer, Ben Reiter, had a game-high 14 points in the first half, with 12 of those coming from behind the arc. Junior forward Jeremy Kalonji led the way for the Bulldogs in the first half like he usually does, dropping in 10 points in the first. Right behind him were guards Jordan Harris and Tre'Shon Heard with nine and eight points, respectively.
Adrian made the adjustments it needed to at halftime and erased the deficit five minutes in, taking a 48-46 lead from a Heard three-pointer. Kalamazoo wouldn't go away, and tied the game at 63 apiece before making a free throw to regain the lead. That would be the last time the Hornets sniffed the lead, as back-to-back step-back threes in isolation from Harris spurred an eight-point AC run that would give the Black and Gold the lead for good, with junior forward Ke'Shaun Wyatt-Morris throwing down a dunk after being left unguarded in the paint. Kalamazoo pulled within two again, as Kalonji fouled out with 2:06 to go in the game. After Adrian regained a four-point lead the Hornets looked like they were going to have an easy dunk to make it a one-score game again when sophomore guard Sam Colbert came across the paint and made a decisive chase down block to keep the Bulldogs up four. That would be the last play Colbert made in the game as he fouled out on the ensuing possession, with 1:05 remaining in the contest and Adrian up 75-71. Harris made sure the season and lone senior Andrew Landini's career would end on a happy note, scoring four of AC's remaining five points as the Bulldogs were able to hold on for the 80-77 win, in front of the largest crowd at the Merillat Sport and Fitness Center of the season.
The second half was all Adrian, with Kalamazoo only shooting 26.9% after the break to AC's 50%. The Hornets scored half of their points in the second half from the charity stripe, going 18-24 on their free throws while the Bulldogs went 9-13. Adrian played a tighter game throughout, committing only eight turnovers while forcing 14. Those 14 Kalamazoo turnovers led to 19 Adrian points. The Bulldogs also controlled the paint, something they don't usually do. The Black and Gold scored 32 in the lane while the Hornets only managed to get 20 down low.
• Harris and Kalonji tied for the team lead in points, each scoring 23. Joining them in double digits were Heard with 13 and Wyatt-Morris with 12. The Bulldogs only played seven players in the game, but all seven scored.
• Kalonji was a terror down low, grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds – four on the offensive glass – for a double-double and coming up with three blocks. Colbert added the other block for the Bulldogs, at a critical stage late in the game.
• Harris flirted with a double-double finishing with eight assists and Heard contributed five helpers.
• Reiter finished with a game-high 28 points, with 18 coming from behind the arc. Jeremiah Vincent was second on the team, with 17 points.
• Drake Thompson hauled in nine rebounds and Bass Ollie grabbed seven.