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Over the past two weeks, the Hillsdale men’s bas­ketball team improved to a 3 – 0 season, beating St. Joseph’s College and Lewis Uni­versity and con­tinuing its flawless home court record.

On Nov. 15, the Chargers defeated St. Joseph’s 69 – 54, thanks to remarkable rebounding numbers and solid defensive exe­cution. Hillsdale pulled down 50 rebounds to St. Joseph’s 36 and held the Pumas to 30 percent shooting from the field.

“Defen­sively, it was one of the best efforts that we’ve had since I’ve been here,” said head coach John Tharp.

Junior forward Tim Dezelski had an out­standing game, with 10 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, 15 of those on the defensive end.

The Charger guards led the team’s offensive effort, with a par­tic­u­larly impressive showing by junior Brandon Pritzl who scored a team-high 13 points and dished out five assists. Junior Anthony Manno shot a perfect 4 – 4 from the three-point range, fin­ishing the night with 12 points. Junior Derek Schell put up 10 points, shooting 4 – 7.

In an excep­tional off-the-bench per­for­mance, junior guard Darius Ware grabbed a career-high nine boards and scored five points.

“I thought we had a lot of people step up,” said senior center Nick Washburn. “We had some stretches where we really showed the kind of bas­ketball we want to play.”

In his season debut, Washburn was forced to compete against a St. Joseph’s double-team and had four points, five rebounds, three assists, and three blocked shots.

Washburn saw a vast improvement in last Sunday’s 71 – 65 win over Lewis, with nine points, nine rebounds, and three blocks. The game was a grudge match of sorts, as the Flyers beat Hillsdale last year 62 – 52.

“We saw it as a redemption game,” said Dezelski, who had a career-best per­for­mance of 26 points and 13 rebounds. “We knew coming in that they were a very tal­ented team led by their guards who are always looking to score. We just tried to stay focused and execute our game plan against them both offen­sively and defen­sively, which we did rel­a­tively well.”

Dezelski was very effi­cient from the floor, making nine of his 12 field goal attempts and sinking three out of five shots from behind the arc. Hillsdale also saw key con­tri­bu­tions from Pritzl, who scored 12 points and Ware, who put up seven, including four free throws in the last minute of the game.

Coach Tharp reit­erated that such bal­anced per­for­mances are char­ac­ter­istic of the team’s depth this year, which will be helpful as Hillsdale com­petes in con­ference play. The Chargers will get a chance to prove their con­ference merit when they play Northwood Uni­versity tonight at 6 p.m. and Lake Superior State Uni­versity on Sat­urday at 1 p.m., both at home.