SPRING ARBOR, MI – In the history of Spring Arbor University men’s basketball, there have been 20 games when a player scored 40 or more points. The latest was today when senior, Rob Hogans scored 32 of his game high 42 points in the second half against Bethel College. Unfortunately for the Cougars, it was enough and Spring Arbor fell to the #20 ranked Bethel Pilots 80-69.
The Cougars started the game in dominating fashion with a 12-2 lead after the first seven minutes and still lead after the first half 28-26 after a late first half rally by the Pilots.
After the first 20 minutes of play, Thomas Starks led Spring Arbor with 11 points and Rob Hogans added 10 points in the first half.
Bethel, ranked #20 in the NAIA polls was on a mission in the second half and started the half with a 17-5 run after six minutes and a 25-9 run through the first 10 minutes of the second half and trailing the Pilots 37-51 and a 14 point deficit.
With 10:00 left, Rob Hogans tried with all his might to get the Cougars back into the game and what happened over that time was nearly herculean. With ten free throws, four 2-point field goals, including a running dunk, and four 3-pointer (three in a row at one point), Hogans poured in 30 points in the final 10 minutes.
Spring Arbor got to within seven points twice with less than a minute to play but the Pilots did a nice job of thwarting any comeback efforts with a quick basket here or making free throws there to keep SAU at bay.
Time expired with Bethel on top 80-69.
Hogans 42 points ties Micah Lancaster for the 16th highest game point total in SAU History and betters Hogans 40 point performance against St. Francis just earlier this year. It also moves Hogans into 10th place on the All-Time scoring list with 1864 points passing Gerald Byrd (1970′).
Starks finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.
The loss dropped Spring Arbor to 10-14 overall and 5-7 in the Crossroads while Bethel rose to 19-5, and 8-4 in League action. The Cougars will host Grace College (14-9, 6-6) on Tuesday night for a 7:00 tilt and will try to sweep the Lancers after defeating them in Winona Lake on January 8th 64-57.