TU?men can’t hold lead against?Walsh

John Hill has a way with words.

The fourth-year Tiffin University coach found a way to sum up his team’s 88-70 loss to Walsh in a way that any poet or writer this side of Bob Dylan would be proud of.

“We lost the game,” Hill said, “right after we took the lead.”

The Dragons, who missed a boatload of point-blank shots in the first half, fell behind by as many as 14 points before starting a rally right before the break and carrying the momentum over.

Freshman Khaleal McCormick converted a layup to bring the Dragons within 59-57 of the Cavaliers, then buried a 3-pointer from the left wing to put the Dragons up 60-59.

It was Tiffin’s first lead of the afternoon, and its players appeared energized.

Many coaches would have called a timeout. Walsh’s Jeff Young didn’t.

“They made that run, which we figured they would,” Young said.

And just as quickly, the Cavaliers went on a game-deciding one.

Walsh has two major deep threats in Brad DuPont and Ryan Vanderhorst. For three consecutive possessions, the Dragons lost them. They lost Vanderhorst twice in a row, and he buried a trey from each corner. Then, after another TU turnover, DuPont was left open on the right wing.

What was a one-point TU lead became a 68-60 Cavalier edge in about a minute.

“Vanderhorst hit two and DuPont hit one, and those are just big shots,” Young said. “That changed the whole game.”

Vanderhorst made five 3-pointers in the game; Dupont made three, as the pair combined for 28 points.

“Just little things,” Hill said of his team’s defense during the stretch. “It’s almost we go brain-dead. You’ve got to make a stop. You have a huge run, you take the lead, then you give up a 3. Then we attack, and we have a way to hurt them, and we turn the ball over.”

Walsh (16-6, 12-6 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) outscored Tiffin 29-10 after the McCormick 3.

Kenny Kornowski led the Cavaliers in the win with 24 points and nine rebounds. Jeff Copeland had 14 points and nine rebounds for Walsh, with DaVonte Beard contributing 12 points.

Tiffin’s Joe Graessle had 24 points, six assists and seven steals to lead the Dragons (9-16, 6-13). McCormick had 14 points to go with six rebounds. Jonathan Sutherlin had a team-best seven rebounds to go with six points.

“I was real pleased with Khaleal McCormick coming off the bench,” Hill said. “He did a tremendous job for a freshman, non-starter coming in.

“Joe, we got the usual game … Sutherlin did a nice job, (Michael) Bouley did a nice job.”

Bouley had seven points and three boards.

But Hill wasn’t pleased with many others.

“We had a couple guys who (gave) us zero performance,” Hill said. “That really hurt us.”