Albion grinds out victory at Olivet

Albion grinds out victory at Olivet

OLIVET, Mich. – Albion College stayed a game behind the leader in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association men's basketball race by grinding out a 70-67 victory over Olivet College Saturday night.

The victory was what the Britons needed after what Head Coach Jody May described as a "tough couple days".

"We didn't play to the level of our ability (in a loss at Hope College) on Wednesday and that was disappointing," May said. "We had a serious video session on Thursday and a typical Thursday practice is short, but it wasn't on Thursday. Friday was about the same.

"I told our guys it's not about winning and losing, but how you are playing the game," he added. "I didn't care about the result (tonight), I wanted them to play hard, compete and let the result take care of itself. When we are focused and playing hard, we execute the game plan a lot better. That was the case today and the ball bounced our way."

The game was close throughout. The score was tied 12 times and the lead changed 11 times. Albion scored five in a row to take a 15-10 lead – its largest of the night – in the first half.

Olivet led by as many as six with five minutes left, but Albion never let the game get out of reach.

"I told the team if we hung in there, good things were going to happen," May said. "We had big plays down the stretch and our defense was really important. No. 1 we did a lot better job of rebounding in the second half and No. 2 we played defense without fouling. The third thing was we weren't giving up transition points the way we were in the first half."

Caden Ebeling, Jamezell Davis, Jr., and Quinton Armstrong scored on consecutive possessions to pull Albion even at 58 with 3 ½ minutes left.

ArShawn Parker and Caden Ebeling combined to go 4-for-4 from the free throw line as Albion forged a 68-64 lead in the final minute.

Ebeling led all players with 25 points, for his fifth game this season with at least 20. He also secured eight rebounds.

Parker (15) and Davis (10) also scored in double figures for Albion.

Albion (13-6 overall, 6-2 MIAA) returns home for its next two MIAA games. The Britons have a 7:30 p.m. Wednesday game against Adrian College and a 3 p.m. Saturday date with Alma College.

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