GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Darius Branch misfired on a contested jumper from beyond the free throw line with time winding down as Albion College fell to 0-2 in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association with a 71-70 loss at Calvin College.
Branch basket 2 ½ minutes into the second half boosted Albion to a 45-32 lead, its largest of the day.
Albion maintained a double digit lead with seven minutes remaining as Branch hit a jumper to make the score 62-52.
Calvin made the most of its possessions from there as Michael Welch and Michael Wilks provided the scoring in an 11-4 run to cut the margin to two with three minutes left.
Cam Denney tacked on an old fashioned three point play as the Knights claimed a 70-69 lead with two minutes remaining.
The teams exchanged the lead twice in the waning minutes, with Branch scoring for Albion with 1:42 left and Welch producing the game-winning basket with 32 seconds left.
Dylan Bennett, who had not scored more than six points in a game during his Albion career, exploded for 22. He hit 8-of-11 shots from the field, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range.
Branch added 18 points.
Denny had a fine all-around game for Calvin with 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Wilks contributed 14 points.
Albion will hit the road again Wednesday, traveling to Kalamazoo College for an 8 o'clock start.