UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The Saginaw Valley State University men's basketball team opened its 2016-17 GLIAC schedule with a 74-70 victory over the Hillsdale College Chargers on Thursday (Dec. 1) night at SVSU's O'Neill Arena. The Cardinals came back from a 36-31 halftime deficit to outscore the visitors 43-34 in the second half to claim the victory.
The game went back-and-forth to begin, with the Cardinals eventuall getting buckets from C.J. Turnage and Mike Wells to knot the score at 15-15 at the 12:27 marker of the first half. The Chargers responded with nine straight points from there, grabbing the lead and making the score 24-15 with 9:23 to go.
That lead would grow to 11 points (31-20) with 6:29 to play in the first before Saginaw Valley would begin to chip-away at that a bit.After trailing by 10 points at 34-24, SV got four straight points from Garrett Hall, one from Turnage and a layup from Malik Garner to trim the deficit to 34-31 with just over a minute to play.
Hillsdale got a good jumper with five seconds left in the half, putting the visitors up 36-31 heading into the half.
Saginaw Valley would work its way back to tie the score at 40-40 at the 16:33 marker of the second half and take its first lead since the 16:23 point of the first half with the score 42-40 after a layup from Garner.
The lead was 51-45 after a three-pointer from Jake Daniels with 10:43 to play, but a layup and triple from the visitors trimmed the lead to 51-50 with 9:42 showing. Consecutive layups from Turnage would give the home squad a five-point lead (55-50) with 8:46 to go. That lead would grow to eight points twice, with the second coming at the 4:48 point after Wells converted on a jumper to make the score 64-58.
Hillsdale cut the lead to 64-63 with just 2:19 showing on the clock but Wells would once again put the home side up six points with a layup to make the count 69-63 in SV's favor. The Chargers got to within two points from there, but the Cardinals closed the contest out with four consecutive Hall free throws around a layup from the visitors, sealing a 74-70 win for the Cardinals.
Inside the Boxscore
- The 7-0 start to the season is the program's first since the 1984-85 season, when that team opened the year with eight straight victories.
- Turnage went for a game-high 25 points in the victory with four rebounds, two assists, three steals and a pair of blocks. He earned Meijer "Player of the Game" honors for the performance.
- Hall added 18 points with five boards and five assists.
- Garner posted 12 points in the win with two assists and a rebound.
- Wade Gelhaus grabbed a game-high six rebounds for the Cardinals while scoring four points, adding an assist and steal.
- Wells added seven points with two steals, an assist and board.
- Richie Roberts grabbed five rebounds for SV.
- The Cardinals show 66.7% (16-24) in a strong second half while hitting on 55.1% (27-49) of their shots overall. The Chargers posted a shooting mark of 50.8% (30-59).
- Each team pulled-down 27 rebounds while the Chargers held a narrow 42-38 edge in the paint.
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