By: Phillip Lutz, Sports Editor
The University of Michigan-Dearborn Wolverines traveled to Kingsport, Tenn. To take part in a NAIA Division II showcase over the weekend. They played two games against really good opponents.
They first took on the No. 2 Union College Bulldogs Saturday who are the defending national champions from a year ago. The Wolverines and Bulldogs battled all game long going back and forth. The Wolverines finally found a way to win the game on a 16-6 run to beat the Bulldogs 74-64.
“We knew going in it would be a grind it out kind of game” coach Taylor Langley said Monday.
The leading scorer for the Wolverines was Jason Penn (SR/Detroit, Michigan) who scored 20 points and had nine rebounds. Penn shot 7-of-12 from the field and barely missed a double-double in the game.
“Jason is the hardest worker I have ever had, played at an extremely high level” Langley said.
Mafiaion Joyner (JR/Battle Creek, Michigan) added 14 points and sealed the deal late for the Wolverines. Xavier Crawford (JR/Detroit, Michigan) scored 13 points and added seven rebounds. Ashton Curd (SR/Detroit, Michigan) would not be denied as he finished with eight points, eight rebounds, and four assists.
The Wolverines final game of the showcase was Sunday against host school the University of Rio Grande. The Wolverines lost the game 79-73.
The teams were neck and neck all game long with 17 lead changes and the teams tied 13 times. Rio Grande’s leading scorer was Will Hill and Jaxon Burgess each scoring 21 points.
The Wolverines were led by Jason Penn who scored 15 points. He also added nine rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Penn once again came within one rebound of another double-double.
Ashton Curd added 13 points of his own. He also had three steals, two rebounds, and two assists. Cody Kegley added 12 points of his own. He also added four rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
“We didn’t execute and they made plays down the stretch” Langley said.
The Wolverines also played a game in Fort Wayne, Indiana Tuesday against the Indiana Institute of Technology in a WHAC (Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference) game. The Warriors of Indiana won the game in the second half of the game 102-67. This was the first WHAC loss for the Wolverines. The Wolverines now have a 6-4 record overall and a 3-1 record in the WHAC.
The Warriors dominated the Wolverines in the second half of the game outscoring them 64-32.
“Indiana did not miss the second half, they shot at a really high level” Langley said Monday.
The Wolverines leading scorer was Jason Penn at 19 points. He also had two rebounds and two assists. Ashton Curd added 12 points of his own including a 3-pointer. He hauled in five rebounds, three steals, and five assists.
Xavier Crawford scored nine points, four rebounds, four assists, a block, and a steal. Mafiaion Joyner added seven points, three rebounds, two big blocks, and an assist.
Gage Throgmorton (SR/White Lake, Michigan) added five points, and led the team in rebounds with six. Cody Kegley (SO/Yale, Michigan) came off the bench to score six points for the Wolverines.
Six Warriors had double digit points led by Joel Wincowski with 23 points and Edmund Early with 17 points.
The Wolverines return home to the UM-Dearborn Fieldhouse Wednesday at 7:30 pm to take on the University of Northwestern Ohio Racers.