OLIVET, Mich. – Senior Eldridge Mason made a three-pointer with 2.3 seconds left in overtime to push the Olivet College men's basketball team past Adrian College, 81-78, tonight at The Cutler Event Center in Olivet. With the win, the Comets stay tied with Hope College for first-place in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) standings and also clinch a berth in the 2018 MIAA Tournament.
Final Score: Olivet 81, Adrian 78 (OT)
Location: The Cutler Event Center; Olivet, Mich.
Records: Olivet 14-9 overall, 9-3 MIAA; Adrian 16-7 overall, 7-5 MIAA
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Comets led by five points, 7-2, at the 17:38 mark of the opening half. The Bulldogs responded with a 12-3 run to take a 14-10 lead. After that, there were two more tied scores and three lead changes. With the score level at 18-18, Adrian scored 16 of the next 22 points to gain its largest lead in the game, 34-24, with 50 seconds left before halftime. Olivet put the final three points on the scoreboard to trail by seven points, 34-27, at halftime.
- The Bulldogs started the second half by scoring four straight points to extend their lead back to double figures, 41-30. The Comets fought back and twice cut their deficit down to five points. After the last time at 43-38, Adrian went on a 7-0 run to stretch their lead back to double figures, 50-38, at the 12:36 mark.
- Olivet chipped away at the Bulldog lead and took its first lead in the second half, 60-59. The teams traded either free throws or baskets until there was 1:12 left in the game when senior Jalen Adams made a layup to put the Comets ahead by three points, 65-62. The Bulldogs made a basket and a chance to take the lead but missed two free throws with 24.5 seconds remaining.
- Adams was fouled with 14.9 ticks left and made two free throws to push Olivet's advantage back to three points, 67-64. Following a timeout, Adrian's Sam Colbert nailed a three-pointer. The Comets had a chance to win the game but missed a shot and the game went to overtime.
- There were two tied scores to start the overtime. Colbert put the Bulldogs on top for the first time, 74-73, with a triple. Mason made two free throws and Adams drained two free throws to put Olivet ahead by three, 77-74. Tre'Shon Heard evened the score with a three-pointer. Players from both teams split two free throws resulting in another tied scored at 78-78 with 14.7 seconds remaining. Mason nailed the winning three-pointer. Adrian had a chance to send the game to another extra period but its three-point attempt was off the mark.
FOR THE COMETS
- Olivet made two less shots, including one less three-pointer than the Bulldogs. The Comets won the game by virtue of shooting 25-of-34 from the free throw line compared to 17-of-23 for Adrian.
- Adams finished the game with a game-high 34 points and 17 rebounds.
- Mason tallied 18 points.
- Junior Tracy Edmond had his own double-double with 13 points and 11 assists.
FOR THE BULLDOGS
- Four starters reached double figures in the scoring column.
- Justin Webster led the way with 21 points.
- Jeremy Kalonji added 17 points before fouling out in overtime.
- Sam Colbert and Jordan Harris contributed 14 and 13 points, respectively.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- The Comets have likely secured at least the No. 2 seed in the MIAA Tournament. With two games left, Olivet has a 9-3 record. Adrian and Trine share third-place but it's believed that the Comets would own the tiebreakers over both.
- The nine MIAA wins this season are the most in school history for a season since 1971-72 campaign when Olivet had 12 league victories.
- The Comets welcome Hope College to The Cutler Event Center next Wednesday, Feb. 14, for a 7:30 p.m. game. The winner of the game will be guaranteed a share of the 2018 MIAA championship.