The Tiffin University men's basketball team, usually accurate from beyond the arc, leaned on rebounding and points in the paint in their 81-68 victory over the Northern Michigan University Wildcats.
The Dragons took the lead from the start, using back-to-back buckets by Mohamed Rage to lead 4-0. Tiffin continued to build upon their lead, using a Tony Kynard layup to take a 20-12 advantage. The Wildcats closed the gap with a 15-9 run to trail 29-27 at the final media timeout of the 1st half. Tiffin stopped the Northern Michigan run and were able to take a 36-33 lead to the half.
At the break, Juwan Johnson's stat line looked as if he had played a complete game. Johnson poured in 14 points and snagged 9 rebounds, with five being offensive boards. Tiffin held a 24-16 advantage on the boards, translating into a 15-7 lead in 2nd chance points. Tiffin's three point shooting struggled in the half, hitting only 2 of 11 attempts.
A quick Wildcat trey to start the 2nd half tied the game at 36-36. An 11-2 run over the next four minutes gave Tiffin a 47-38 lead. The Wildcats kept within distance and pounced midway through the half with a 12-0 run to take a 50-47 lead over the Dragons with 12:30 to play. An Ellis Williams jumper tied the game at 52-52, and then Khaleal McCormick gave the Dragons the lead for good with 09:18 to play. The trio of McCormick, Austin Adams, and Juwan Johnson poured in 33 points and 11 rebounds in the 2nd half to push Tiffin to an 81-68 victory.
Juwan Johnson poured in a career high 25 points, 14 rebounds, and 8 offensive rebounds. Austin Adams added 18 points, 14 of which came in the 2nd half. Adams added 8 rebounds and a pair of assists. Khaleal McCormick chipped in with 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. As a team, Tiffin held an advantage on the boards 51-34, points in the paint 42-24, and 2nd chance points 28-23.
The win moves the Dragons to 7-7 overall and 3-4 in GLIAC play. TU will be back in action on Saturday, playing host to the Michigan Tech Huskies.