Albion dials up from long distance to knock off Calvin

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ALBION, Mich. – Dakota Kazen and Lucas Marble combined to bury four 3-point baskets as Albion rallied from nine points down midway through the second half to earn a 65-60 victory over Calvin in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association men's basketball action.

Cameron Denney hit a pair of 3-point shots and Austin Parks added one from long range as Calvin built a 45-35 lead five minutes into the second half.  Tony Canonie knocked down a jumper as Calvin led, 54-45, with 10:40 to play.

Marble, a senior from Sparta, Mich., who came into the game averaging two points per game, provided a spark off the bench. His second 3-point basket pulled Albion within one, 56-55, with 6:31 to play.

Robert Ryan scrambled for a couple of offensive rebounds to set up Kazen's 3-point basket that propelled Albion to a 61-58 lead with 3 ½ minutes left.

Albion would not trail again as Jaylen Fordham, the first-year guard from Flint who produced 11 points in the first half, and Jordan Herron closed the game from the free throw line in the final 15 seconds.

"These guys could have put their heads down and been upset about (letting a 14-point lead slip away in a 68-65 loss to Hope) Wednesday," Head Coach Jody May said. "These guys responded today.

"There were several times they could have put their heads down today," May added. "I give credit to the seniors (Herron, Marble and Travell Oakes) for gutting one out."

Ryan, Fordham, Jibreel Hussein and Kazen all dialed up for long distance early as Albion forged a 22-16 lead midway through the first half. Calvin scored the next four points and neither team led by more than four for the remainder of the half.

In all, Albion hit a season-high 14 3-point field goals and its 47 percent accuracy (14-of-30) was easily a season high.

Kazen finished with a season-high 17 points, shooting 5-of-6 from 3-point range. Fordham finished with 13 points.

Calvin came in averaging seven more rebounds per game than its opponents, but Albion finished with a 40-29 advantage on the boards. Oakes pulled down 11, including five on the offensive end, and Herron had eight (to go along with eight points).

Albion (6-7 overall and 1-1 against league rivals) will play at home again Wednesday against Kalamazoo. The game follows a 6 o'clock women's game between Albion and Hope.

"This is probably as deep the league has been, top to bottom, since 2005," May said. "Kalamazoo is scoring a lot of points. There are no easy games."