Justin Armatis, Staff Writer
The University of Michigan-Dearborn men’s basketball team finished their regular season on Valentine’s Day against the No. 1 Cornerstone University Golden Eagles. The pregame Senior Night ceremony, which the Wolverines honored graduating seniors Hassan Doghman, Ashton Curd, Gage Throgmorton, and Jason Penn, was the high point of the night.
The Golden Eagles’ offense was unyielding and nearly unstoppable. The battle started early between Penn and Golden Eagle Sam Vander Sluis. While Vander Sluis had the height and size advantage, Penn’s speed allowed him to make some fine post moves to work the Golden Eagles inside. Cornerstone moved the game to the perimeter and began to shoot the lights out.
Halfway through the first half, the Golden Eagles were shooting a whopping 80% (16-20) from the field while going 57% (4-7) from 3-point range. Cornerstone stretched the lead early and never looked back. The Wolverines, who were down by at least 20 points most of the night, tried to carry some momentum into the half only after a slight rally led by sophomore guard Cody Kegley to head to the half down 18.
The Golden Eagles shooting would cool down, but the lead was too much, finishing 54% (40-74) field goals, 36% 3FG (10-28), and 87% FT (13-15) and taking down the Wolverines on the final night of the regular season 103-70. The Wolverine offense also shot well on the night with 42% FG (28-66), 38% 3FG (8-21), and 60% FT (6-10), but just couldn’t keep up. Penn led the effort with a 13-point, 11 rebound double-double game while junior guard Mafiaion Joyner added 14 points, three rebounds, and three steals.
The loss drops the Wolverines to 18-12 (13-7 WHAC) heading into the league postseason tournament. The Wolverines will host the first WHAC Postseason Tournament game in program history with the first-round opponent Madonna University coming to the UM-Dearborn Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. This will be the tie-breaker for these teams as they split the two games they have already played.