Alma stages second-half comeback to defeat Adrian, 79-76

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Adrian, Mich. - The Alma College men's basketball team overcame a 13-point deficit in the second half and remained unbeaten in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, defeating Adrian College by a 79-76 margin on Saturday (Jan. 7) at the Merillat Sport & Fitness Center. Alma is now 6-7 overall, including 2-0 in the MIAA, and has won its last three games.

Freshman Ryan Stevens (Lowell, Mich./Lowell) led the Scots in scoring with 17 points - including 11 in the second half - and hit seven of his eight shots, while freshman Steven Harvey (Grand Rapids, Mich./Ada) came off the bench to net 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting, including a 3-for-4 mark from three-point range.

Senior Trevor Gernaat (McBain, Mich./Northern Michigan Christian/Mid-Michigan CC) and freshman Preston Laketa (Concord, Mich./Hanover-Horton) also reached double figures, scoring 13 points apiece as Alma hit 53.2 percent of its shots from the floor. Laketa has now scored 10 or more points in five straight games, while Gernaat scored 11 of his 13 in the final 20 minutes.

Stevens and Gernaat pulled down five rebounds each to lead the team as the Bulldogs out rebounded Alma by a 32-26 margin. The Scots also tallied 18 assists on 25 shots, led by senior Chase Fairchild (Rockford, Mich./Rockford), who dished out a season-high five helpers.

Davonte Harris led all players in scoring with 43 points, second-most in Adrian history.

The Scots led by as many as seven points in the opening half, but the Bulldogs rallied to tie the game with just over eight minutes remaining before the half and held on to take a 38-35 advantage into the break, led by 19 points from Harris.

In the second half, Adrian raced out to a 56-43 lead with 12:48 to play before the Scots responded with a 12-0 run to pull within one points at 56-55 with nine minutes to play. The Bulldogs maintained a slim lead until Gernaat hit a three-pointer with 3:12 to play to give Alma a 69-68 advantage as part of a 9-0 run that put put Alma up by six with 30 seconds to play. Adrian was able to cut the lead to one point after Harris hit a three with five seconds to play, but a pair of free throws by Harvey with two seconds left sealed the victory.

"It wasn't a great effort energy-wise in the first half, but I'm very proud of how we came back and competed in the second." Head Coach Sam Hargraves said.

The Scots will remain on the road, traveling to Holland, Mich., on Wednesday, Jan. 10, to face league-favorite Hope College. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the DeVos Fieldhouse on the campus of Hope College.