ADRIAN – It was win and you're in heading into the regular season finale for the Adrian College men's basketball team on Saturday. The Bulldogs took the court already knowing that Olivet College lost to Calvin College so a win would give them the fourth-seed in the MIAA Tournament. The Bulldogs got a test from last-place Albion (6-19, 2-12) but in the end it was sophomore Eric Lewis and senior Sean Gallant leading the Bulldogs to the victory. Adrian actually tied for third in the conference standings with Trine, but the Thunder owned the tiebreaker for the third-seed.
The pairings are now set for the MIAA Tournament beginning on Thursday, Feb. 21. Adrian will travel to Calvin and Trine will visit Hope. Both games will tip at 7:30 p.m. The Bulldogs dropped both regular season meetings with the Knights, but both games were very competitive. Adrian fell 56-50 in Grand Rapids on Jan. 3 and got nipped in the final seconds, 50-47, on Jan. 26.
Lewis scored a game-high 23 points with equal distribution scoring 11 in the first half and 12 in the second half. He was very efficient in this one going 10-of-17 from the floor with five rebounds and five assists. Gallant scored 15 points and snagged seven rebounds. He went 5-of-11 from the floor and also had two assists, steals and blocks.
The game featured three ties and six lead changes, but those were all in the first half. Adrian gained a 29-24 halftime lead and the Britons got within one at 13:33, but the Bulldogs responded with a 15-2 run over four-plus minutes to lead 50-36 with 8:45 remaining. Albion cut the lead down to six with 3:17 to play and could have cut it further but missed a field goal and allowed an offensive rebound on a bonus situation.
The game was put away when Brad Hohman scored with 1:58 left and senior Cody Barnes got an inbounds steal and fast-break layup with 1:39 left to give Adrian a 58-48 lead. Albion went 34.6 percent from the floor and were just 3-of-15 from the arc. Adrian shot 42.1 percent from the floor and were 4-of-8 from the arc. Barnes scored nine points and grabbed six boards in his final home game.