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The Hillsdale College men’s bas­ketball team has clinched its spot in the GLIAC Tour­nament.

Behind a remarkable 3-point shooting per­for­mance led by junior guard Ryan Bad­owski, the Chargers calmed the Lake Erie Storm 92 – 71 on Thursday night at Dawn Tib­betts Potter Arena.

With the result, the Chargers improve to 14 – 11 overall and 10 – 9 in the GLIAC, while the Storm fall to 4 – 23 and 3 – 16 in con­ference play. Despite going 3 – 8 over their first 11 con­ference games, the Chargers have won four in a row and seven of their past eight. With Walsh University’s loss to Ashland this evening, the Chargers have booked their spot in the post­season.

“I’m just really pleased and really proud,” Hillsdale head coach John Tharp said. “We weren’t very good at one time. We were pretty bad, and these guys just toughened it out. They’re just getting it, and they’re under­standing their roles so well.”

All five starters scored in double figures for the Chargers against the Storm. Bad­owski scored 26 points on 8-of-10 3-point shooting. Junior guard Stedman Lowry scored 13 points. Sophomore point guard Nate Neveau recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists. Senior forward Rhett Smith scored 12 points and senior center Nick Archer added 11.

The Chargers were red hot from beyond the arc, con­verting 20 of their 32 3-point attempts (63 percent).

“We knew that they have a ten­dency to stare when you drive and kick or if the ball goes inside,” Tharp said. “The gameplan was to try to play inside-out and to pen­e­trate and find and they did that.”

Hillsdale held Lake Erie to 47 percent field goal shooting and 41 percent shooting from beyond the arc. With the post­season approaching, the Chargers will con­tinue to focus on their defense.

“It’ll be the point of emphasis here down the stretch,” Tharp said. “We still aren’t quite there where I want to be defen­sively.”

Hillsdale scored on its first pos­session and never looked back. Lowry got off to a fast start, hitting his first 3 shots — including two 3-pointers — to give the Chargers an early 8 – 3 lead. The Chargers kept up the pace in the opening minutes, taking a 15 – 5 lead with 14:43 left in the first half on a layup by sophomore forward Nick Czarnowski.

The Storm briefly pulled within 2 points at 17 – 15 thanks to a 10 – 2 run, but 3-pointers by Neveau and Bad­owski restored a com­fortable lead.

Bad­owski con­tinued to hit shots in the first half whenever Lake Erie began making a run. Bad­owski scored 14 points in the opening period on 5-of-6 field goal shooting and 4-of-4 3-point shooting. Neveau and Lowry each scored 10 in the first half as the Chargers took a 43 – 30 lead into the locker room.

The Chargers opened the second half on a 19 – 8 run to take a com­manding 62 – 38 lead with 13 minutes remaining in the game and cruised to the 92 – 71 win.

Archer and Smith were honored before the final home game of their col­le­giate careers. They both received big ova­tions and hugs from their coaches and team­mates when they were subbed out of the game with a minute remaining.

“It’s always an emo­tional night because you say goodbye to those seniors,” Tharp said. “You want to play well for those seniors.”

On Sat­urday, the Chargers will play their regular season finale at Ohio Dominican Uni­versity. The Pan­thers have had the week off to prepare for the Chargers. Tip off is scheduled for 3 p.m.

“Hope­fully we can keep that edge,” Tharp said. “That’s what I’m a little worried about, espe­cially after finding out that we’re in.”

While most GLIAC teams wrap up their regular seasons next Thursday, the Chargers will be waiting for the playoffs to begin on Feb. 28

“You just want to keep winning. And one reason is that we have to sit all next week,” Tharp said. “But I’m happy that we’re in.”