TIFFIN, Ohio - Lightning does strike twice as senior Karl Finley hit a 3-pointer with .3 seconds left to push the Tiffin University men's basketball team (12-13, 6-11 GLIAC) past #23 Hillsdale (19-4, 13-3 GLIAC) 69-66, Saturday afternoon at the Gillmor Center. It was the first victory over the Chargers since the 1990-91 season, TU's second straight win over an opponent it hadn't beaten in 20 years.
"The guys played their hearts out today," said coach John Hill. "Once again, we played hard and smart for 40 minutes. Every player who was out on the floor contributed for us. This is a huge win for us and the university."
The first half went back and forth with neither team able to take control. The score was tied six times and there were 12 lead changes. Hillsdale took the lead at 29-27 with 29 seconds left. Senior Keenan Barlow hit a layup with two seconds left. That tied it 29-29 at the half.
In the second half, the teams slugged it out early. The score was knotted at 38-38 at the 16:40 mark. Tiffin went on a 13-4 run ended on a jumper from sophomore Joe Graessle. That put the Dragons up 51-42 with 13:20 to go.
TU still had the lead, 58-51 with 7:07 to go. The Chargers then put up a 10-5 run to cut the gap to two, 63-61 with 2:40 to go. Tim Dezelski hit a layup and was fouled. He converted the free throw to put HU up 64-63.
Brad Guinane hit a 12-foot jumper to make it 66-63 Hillsdale with 1:38 to go. With 28 seconds left, Graessle hit Finley at the top of the arc. Finley drained the trey to make it 66-66. Freshman Iman Johnson came up with a steal and TU held for the last shot. Finley nailed the triple with .3 seconds left for the win.
For Tiffin, Finley had 18 points, Graessle had 19 points and seven assists while senior Keenan Barlow scored 10 points. Senior Travis Spahr had eight points and Johnson had eight points, nine rebounds and blocked two shots.
For Hillsdale, Dezelski had 22 points, 12 rebounds and blocked three shots while Brandon Pritzl scored 19 points.
Tiffin hits the road, Thursday, February 16, when they take on Salem International. The game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m.