Graessle’s 42 not enough for Tiffin men

CANTON – Joe Graessle had one of his best offensive games of the season, scoring 42 points, precisely half of Tiffin’s total Thursday night at Malone.

But again, the Dragons were hindered by tough stretches. They struggled on both sides of the floor early in the second half, as the Pioneers turned a 43-36 halftime advantage into a 17-point second half lead.

The Dragons rallied behind Graessle and Khaleal McCormick (who scored 21), but lost, 89-84.

Tiffin coach Jerry Buccilla said things started to turn for TU at the end of the first half. And the man responsible for that turn was the Pioneers’ Brian Stone, a player Buccilla said was a “non-factor” coming in.

Stone, though, took advantage of Tiffin’s lack of size up front, scoring 13 points and grabbing five rebounds.

Size has been an issue for TU since injuries to big men Michael Bouley and Nick Ellison.

“We came out and set the tempo, executed,” Buccilla said. “Then their big guy inside (Stone) … he had a field day at the end of the first half, … he made all the difference, we didn’t have an answer for him.”

Christian Graves had 19 points for the Pioneers (8-7, 6-5 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference), while Isiah Elliott had 16.

The Pioneers also had 32 bench points; Tiffin had four.

Jonathan Sutherlin had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Dragons (6-10, 2-9).

Graessle made 14 baskets, including seven of eight 3s.

Dragons rallies fall short

CANTON – Tiffin women’s basketball coach Pam Oswald said she thought her team came out passively on defense.

Malone took advantage.

Behind Deborah Simmons, who scored 20 points, the Pioneers jumped out to a 19-3 lead, then fought off numerous TU comebacks to win, 76-69.

“I felt like in the beginning we were giving them uncontested shots and they were making ’em,” Oswald said.

And though Tiffin came back behind Karli Mast and Kaylee Patton (18 points each), Oswald said the Dragons need to play solid for 40 minutes.

“Consistency is still the part of the game that we struggle with,” she said.

The Pioneers (12-5, 7-4 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) made almost 54 percent of their shots from the floor, going 28 of 52. Lindsy Snyder had 12 points and 10 rebounds for them.

The Dragons fell to 5-10, 2-9.