When Stedman Lowry gets hot, there isn’t much an opposing team can do to keep pace.
The Hillsdale College basketball team’s leading scorer poured in 31 points on 9‑of-12 shooting from beyond the arc as the Chargers cruised past the Tiffin Dragons 80 – 62 on Saturday afternoon at Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena.
With the victory, the Chargers improve to 8 – 10 overall and 4 – 8 in GLIAC play. The Dragons drop to 8 – 10 overall and 4 – 7 in the GLIAC.
After missing all six of his 3‑point attempts in Hillsdale’s 79 – 77 loss to Walsh on Thursday, Lowry sunk his first seven 3‑pointers against the Dragons. Lowry’s first four 3‑pointers came in the first five minutes of the game to give the Chargers an early 13 – 3 lead.
“With Stedman hitting those shots, everybody took a deep sigh and just said, ‘OK, we can just go play now.’ Every possession wasn’t such a stressful possession,” Hillsdale head coach John Tharp said. “They played loose and carefree.”
Lowry outscored the entire Tiffin lineup by himself over the first 18 minutes of the opening half. Lowry finished the first period with 23 points on 7‑of‑8 field goal shooting. His only miss was a contested layup. No other player scored more than 8 points in the first half.
Both teams struggled to score to begin the second half. The Chargers didn’t put points on the board in the second half until the 15:50 mark when senior forward Rhett Smith fought through traffic for a layup. Smith’s bucket started a 12 – 3 run that gave the Chargers a 21-point lead with 12:52 remaining.
The Dragons never mounted a serious run to put Hillsdale in danger of losing its lead as the Chargers eased to an 80 – 62 victory.
The Chargers shot 47 percent from the field (23-of-49), and held the Dragons to just 33 percent field goal shooting (23-of-69) and 21 percent shooting from beyond the arc (4‑of-19).
“We played defense together,” Tharp said. “We were all in our gaps. Our bigs did a great job of blocking some shots. But we were there for each other and that was the big key.”
For the second straight game, sophomore forward Nick Czarnowski posted double digits off the bench. Czarnowski scored 13 points on 5‑of‑6 shooting and grabbed 9 rebounds.
“He just keeps on getting better and better and better,” Tharp said. “He’s scoring around the rim at an incredible rate and he’s rebounding the basketball at an incredible rate.”
Hillsdale will return to action Thursday night against the Lake Erie Storm. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
“They’re talented offensively. They just score at an incredible pace,” Tharp said. “We’ve got to play with an edge and at the same time have a little fun and enjoy ourselves.”