Men’s basketball team loses to Aquinas, 70-63, in season-opener

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The Olivet College men's basketball team fell to Aquinas College, 70-63, in its 2010-11 season-opener tonight at the Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center in Grand Rapids.

The Comets led by nine points, 11-2, at the 16:05 mark of the first half. The Saints battled back and tied the game at 17-17 and 19-19. Olivet then scored 12 consecutive points, including 10 for senior Nathan Jennings (Grant), to take a 31-19 lead. The Comets settled for a 34-24 lead at halftime.

Aquinas opened the second half with a 14-4 run to force a 38-38 tie. A three-pointer gave the Saints their first lead since early in the game. After a 43-43 tie, Olivet went back up by six points, 51-45, with 10:15 left in the game. Aquinas reeled off seven straight points to take a lead it would not relinquish for the rest of the game.

Jennings paced the Comets with 25 points and eight rebounds. Senior Michael McClary (Bellaire) joined him in double digits with 18, while junior Jaren Edsall (Whitehall) added 10. The Comets committed only four turnovers.

Olivet will return to action Thursday and Friday when it hosts the MIAA-WHAC Challenge at The Cutler Event Center. On Thursday, the Comets will play University of Mich.-Dearborn at 7:30 p.m., while Alma College plays Madonna University at 5:30 p.m. The opponents swap on Friday, with Olivet playing Madonna at 7:30 p.m., and Alma playing Mich.-Dearborn at 5:30 p.m.