Local College Roundup: Rough night for Dragon offense

HILLSDALE, Mich. – Tiffin University didn’t make many shots Thursday, fell way behind a tough Hillsdale team, and never recovered. The Chargers jumped out to a 27-11 advantage in the first half, and coasted from there, beating the Dragons 73-53.

Tiffin’s starting lineup really struggled, combining to go 8 for 43 from the floor. TU’s leading scorer was Jillian Adams, who had 10 points.

“I didn’t feel we played with a lot of heart and passion tonight,” said TU coach Pam Oswald, whose team fell to 5-8, 2-7 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. “People are trying to throw up anything to erase that deficit, not (trying to) get us a good shot that will allow us to score.”

Madison Berry had 18 points for Hillsdale, which improved to 5-8, 4-5 in the GLIAC.

“They’re a very good team, a very good shooting team at home,” Oswald said. “We dug ourselves a hole right away. I didn’t think we were very patient.”

Tiffin won rebounding (43-40) and had 20 offensive boards. But offensive rebounds mean nothing without second-chance points.

“A team that gets 20 offensive rebounds should win,” Oswald said. “We couldn’t throw it in the ocean.”

Dezelski goes off late to down TU men

HILLSDALE, Mich. – Coach Jerry Buccilla and his Tiffin University Dragons went into Thursday’s game knowing who the Chargers’ best player was. So TU did everything it could to limit Tim Dezelski’s points.

For 28 minutes, it worked. Dezelski had just six points in the first half, and just two in the first eight minutes of the second.

“The key to the game, our plan was to take their star out of the game,” Buccilla said.

Limiting Dezelski also kept TU in the game. The Dragons trailed just 52-46 after a pair of Joe Graessle foul shots with 8:20 left in regulation.

But then, the TU defense lost Dezelski for a few minutes.

And he made the Dragons pay.

Dezelski scored 17 of his 25 points in the final eight minutes, leading the Chargers to a 67-58 win.

For a three- to four-minute stretch (our defense) lost sight of him and let him hit open shots, which was inexcusable,” Buccilla said. “That was a difference maker.”

And yet, TU rallied.

The Dragons cut the Hillsdale lead to 60-55 on a Graessle 3 with 3:17 left. It made a defensive stop.

TU’s Ashton Khan missed a jumper, but teammate Jonathan Sutherlin got the offensive board, and found a wide open Graessle for 3.

The shot missed. But Mike Boan got the offensive board. But as Boan went for a putback, he was stripped by Hillsdale’s Brandon Pritzl. Though 1:52 remained, it was TU’s last chance.

“We should be down two or three with the momentum,” Buccilla said.

Instead it was the Chargers (10-3, 6-3 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) who regained it.

Graessle finished with 21 points for TU (6-8, 2-7). Khan scored 13, while Khaleal McCormick had 11.