HILLSDALE, Mich. – Tiffin men's basketball went on the road and hung with one of the conference leaders, leading by two at halftime, but eventually fell to Hillsdale College 81-76 on Thursday night.
The Chargers, tied with Findlay atop the G-MAC standings, improve to 11-2 in the conference while Tiffin falls to 3-10.
Austin Adams tallied a game-high 26 points for the Dragons, adding 10 rebounds for the 17th double-double of his TU career. Shane Waldon registered 12 points, all in the second-half, and Joshua Williams scored 13 off the bench.
Hillsdale and Tiffin recorded the same field goal percentage, 49.2%, but it was the Chargers with three more makes on six more attempts that made the difference. Both teams also took care of the ball well, finishing with just 10 turnovers apiece. Tiffin was able to capitalize on those Hillsdale turnovers at a much higher rate, however, with a margin of 17-9.
With their 76 points, Tiffin was able to record the third-highest output against the Chargers this season, who led the conference by allowing just 63.3 points per game entering tonight's contest.
Hillsdale jumped out to an early 11-point lead as a Harrison Niego triple put the Chargers up 20-9 seven minutes into the opening half.
The Dragons responded with nine unanswered points capped by a Justin Miller layup to cut the deficit to just two with 8:50 left in the period. The margin remained around four until there was just under two minutes to go in the half, when Austin Adams drilled a triple to give Tiffin their first lead of the game at 35-34.
Moments later, it was the Dragons taking a 38-36 lead into the break, led by 17 first-half points from Adams.
Spurred by a few more Adams buckets, Tiffin still held the lead at the 12:37 mark of the second-half at 55-54. However, a 14-6 Charger run found the visitors down seven with 8:34 to play.
That 8-0 run was answered by Hillsdale, though, as it was their turn to score nine in a row and go up by eight with just 94 seconds to play. A three from Joshua Williams stopped the bleeding, but the Chargers made their free throws in crunch time to hold on for the 81-76 win.
Things definitely do not get any easier for Tiffin in their next contest, as they will face the other team tied atop the G-MAC standings on Saturday when they travel to face Findlay. Earlier this year, the Dragons led the Oilers by 20 points in the first-half before Findlay stormed back in the second period to take a seven-point win.