Olivet, Mich. - The Alma College men's basketball team dropped its first round game in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament to Olivet 89-74 on Wednesday (Feb. 20) evening.
The game was within single-digits for the majority of the first half, but the Comets' size and skill became too much to handle down the stretch. Olivet shot 62-percent in the second half while Alma shot 36-percent.
Ryan Stevens (Lowell, Mich. / Lowell) led the Scots with 20 points, six rebounds and five assists. Steven Harvey (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Forest Hills Eastern) posted 17 points on five made three-pointers. Cole Kleiver (Williamston, Mich. / Williamston) had 12 points and five assists and Brandon Rake (Whitehall, Mich. / Whitehall) had 10 points and nine rebounds.
Olivet's Tracy Edmond led all scorers with 30 points. Trevor Manuel scored 27 points and had a team-high 13 rebounds and six assists.
How It Happened
- Both teams started off hot. Olivet made its first seven shots from the field while Alma exploited Olivet's zone by playing a high-low with Stevens at the free throw line. He made two floaters in the paint and often found Rake open on the low post. A step-back three from Olivet's Colin Jones was answered by Stevens, forcing an early Olivet timeout.
- The defense showed up from both teams after the timeout - there were only two field goals in the five minutes following the timeout, both of which came from the Comets. Alma missed its next eight shots.
- After Olivet opened up a 10-point lead, Alma again started to take advantage of the Comet zone. The Scots forced Olivet into two missed shots and three turnovers on five straight possessions while it played through Stevens on offense. He was responsible for two free-throws, a floater and an assist on a Harvey three-pointer. This was part of a 10-0 run to get the Scots to within one point with six minutes left in the half.
- Alma again went cold in the final five minutes of the first half with three misses and three turnovers, but a hanging layup from Kleiver brought them back to within five. A fast-break three-pointer from Stevens cut the deficit to two, 37-35, at the half.
- The two teams traded buckets to start the second half; neither team scored more than two straight shots for the first eight minutes. A Harvey catch-and-shoot transition three kept the Olivet deficit to three.
- After multiple hanging layups from Edmond to put the Comets up by seven, Isaiah Williamson (Sebewaing, Mich. / Unionville-Sebewaing Area) nailed a three from the corner. Another three from Harvey got Alma to within three once more with 13 minutes left.
- An 10-0 run by the Comets gave them a 13-point lead, their biggest of the game at that point. Harvey finally ended the Alma drought with a three, but Manuel came right back with an and-one after an offensive rebound.
- A fast-break dunk from Chase Brocker made it a 15-point game with under eight minutes to play. Alma pulled to within ten after Kyle Woodruff (Grand Blanc, Mich. / Holly) made a layup and a three and Harvey made a free throw, but the Scots wouldn't get within single digits for the rest of the game.
- Alma went 5-of-11 from three in the first half and 7-of-20 in the second half.
- The Scots had 10 assists on 12 made shots in the first half.
- The Comets scored 56 points in the paint to Alma's 20.
- Olivet shot 21-of-25 from the free throw line.
- Ryan Stevens and Cole Kleiver played all but the final minute of the game.