By: Phillip Lutz, Sports Editor
The UM-Dearborn men’s basketball team that is ranked at No. 23 struggled against quality opponents this week. They are now 12- overall and 7-3 in the WHAC (Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference).
The Wolverines traveled Saturday to Livonia, Michigan to face the Madonna University Crusaders. The teams were pretty much even especially with key members of the Wolverines not available to play. According to Wolverine fans in attendance Gage Throgmorton (SR/White Lake, Michigan) was on his honeymoon and Ashton Curd (SR/Detroit, Michigan) sitting with an undisclosed injury.
Curd was very vocal trying to rev up his team as he sat on the bench and eventually in the bleachers.
The Wolverines found themselves in a battle early with the Crusaders and just could not overcome their powerful attacks. They were only down 10 points after the first half. The Crusaders found good shooting lanes especially from 3-point range early and did not let up.
The UM-Dearborn team fought back all day long even using their faces to deflect the ball as Cody Kegley (SO/Yale, Michigan) took a hard shot off the side of his face. He would have to leave the game briefly because he lost his contact. Kegley would return quickly and get two mysterious fouls to foul out of the game. Mathew Mignault (FR/Swartz Creek, Michigan) would also foul out on a play late in the second half on a play he was nowhere near the foul.
The Wolverines would bring the score to within nine points late but eventually lost as they had to foul the Crusaders to save time on the clock. The Crusaders made 62 percent of their free throws especially late in the game sealing the victory in front of their home fans.
The biggest reason the Wolverines lost this game was their horrendous shooting from the free throw line. They made 8 of 20 from the line for a 40 percent shooting. The Wolverine fans were saying that someone needs to teach them to shoot free throws.
Mafiaion Joyner (JR/Battle Creek, Michigan) led the Wolverines in scoring with 20 points including three key 3-pointers late in the game to bring the score close. He also had eight rebounds, four assists, and a block.
Jason Penn (SR/Detroit, Michigan) added 19 points of his own. Penn was the one who opened up scoring in both halves especially to start the second half. He also led the team with 12 rebounds giving him a double-double. Penn also added three free throws made, two key blocks, and an assist.
Cody Kegley added nine points of his own including three 3-pointers. He also had two rebounds and a steal.
The Crusaders were led by Joshua Reynolds who had 24 points and Antonio Capaldi who added 19 points off the bench. Capaldi was the sharp shooter from the perimeter making all five from 3-point range.
The No. 23 Wolverines also traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan on Wednesday as they took on No. 1 Cornerstone University. The Golden Eagles got a fast start and would not lose momentum as they handily defeated the Wolverines 70-57.
Mafiaion Joyner would lead the team with 19 points including going 5 for 7 from downtown. He also had four rebounds and a steal off the Wolverine bench.
Jason Penn added 11 points of his own including making three of six from the free throw line. He also had four rebounds, a block, and an assist.
Jason Gigliotti (FR/Hartland, Michigan) added nine points. He also led the team with seven rebounds. Gigliotti also had a block, a steal, and made a free throw.
The Wolverines will wait until Wednesday night at 7:30 pm as they bring in Aquinas College at the UM-Dearborn Fieldhouse.