Editor’s note: Check out our photo gallery from the game by clicking here.
By JACK VANASSCHE, Guest Reporter
Winning a basketball game at the college level requires a 40-minute effort.
The University of Michigan-Dearborn men’s basketball team has learned this lesson the hard way in the past.
This time the Wolverines were able to survive in a 74-70 victory over Lourdes Wednesday.
Head coach Taylor Langley summed up the feelings of the Wolverine faithful.
“I felt great for about 32 minutes,” Langley said
In a true nail-biter of a game, the Wolverines (12-11, 7-8 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference) seemed to have the game locked up early in the second half with a 15-point lead.
Lourdes (8-14, 3-12 WHAC) would put the pressure on the Wolverines late, tying the game midway into the second half.
Folding was no option for the new and improved Wolverines, as they would answer with a late surge.
Some clutch free throws from Anthony Barley and Marcus Williams put the game just out of reach of the desperate Gray Wolves.
Williams looked unstoppable, tallying 24 points on the night. Along with his team-high point total, Williams added three blocks, six rebounds, and the game-sealing free throw.
Langley shared his feelings on his 6-foot-7 weapon.
“(Marcus) is an absolute mismatch. If he does well this summer, I will not be surprised if he is challenging for Player of the Year,” Langley said. “He is that good.”
Freshman Alex Hagel fired up the whole team with his 18 points off of the bench. Hagel shot 6-for-9 from the field, and went 4-for-7 from three-point range.
Asked about Hagel’s performance, Langley offered nothing but praise.
“Alex is great. It seems every third or fourth game he explodes offensively. I like it and I know his teammates love it when he has a big game like that.”
Hagel’s performance fired up senior forward and mentor Paul Standtke.
“(Alex) was big time tonight” said Standtke. “My job is to make sure my young guys are ready. This was the one we had to have, and I’m just so happy my young guys are playing.”
With the win, the Wolverines reach the 12-win mark for the first time in over a decade.
Although the upcoming schedule seems daunting on paper, Langley is staying confident in his men.
“They have the talent. The pieces are there. Now they just have to go out and get it.”