OLIVET, Mich. – Behind career-best performances from juniors Alvino Ashley (Detroit/MLK), Dakotah Ellis (Birch Run) and Matt Smith (Allegan), the Olivet College men's basketball team beat Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) rival Alma College, 91-86, tonight at The Cutler Event Center in Olivet.
The Comets jumped out to an 11-point lead on two occasions in the first half. The last time was 31-20 with 8:29 left before the break. The Scots answered 16-5 run to tie the game, 36-36, at the 4:17 mark. After the teams swapped baskets, Alma scored six straight points to go up 44-38.
Olivet responded with seven consecutive points to regain the lead, 45-44. The Scots took a 47-45 lead at halftime when Cory Schneider made a 3-pointer.
The Comets were able to get the lead back in the second half and extended it to as many as 13 points, 64-51, with 14 minutes remaining in the game. Alma did not give up and trimmed its deficit to two points two times with the last time being 74-72 at the 9:05 mark.
Ashley led all scorers with 29 points. Ellis finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds for his first collegiate double-double. Smith, who was making his first collegiate start, scored 11 points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds, including eight off the offensive glass. Senior Jaren Edsall (Whitehall) also scored 11 points. Freshman Marquis Childers (Muskegon Heights) had nine points and four assists.
Schneider led the Scots with 20 points. Dustin DeShais and Tommy Erickson each scored 12. Erickson grabbed a team-leading eight rebounds.
The Comets (3-11, 1-2 MIAA) will travel to play Adrian College Saturday night. Tip-off from the Merillat Sports & Fitness Center is 7:30 p.m.