SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – Adam Davis and Jaylin Fordham combined to hit five free throws with seven tenths of a second left in regulation as Albion College secured local bragging rights in men’s basketball with an 80-75 victory over Spring Arbor University.
Albion answered a couple of Spring Arbor scoring runs to secure the victory, its fourth straight over the Cougars.
“Every game we have played against Spring Arbor has come down to the wire,” Albion Head Coach Jody May said, noting that Monday’s margin was the largest in the last four years. “It’s a credit to Coach Cottingham and his team.
“I was impressed with our team tonight,” May added. “We talked a lot about sharing the ball over the past week and we finished with a season-high 22 assists. We talked about doing this together as a team and they responded really well.”
Caleb Hogans produced eight points as Spring Arbor scored the first 10 points of the contest.
Albion responded by scoring the next eight, and neither team led by more than four until late in the first half.
Mitchell Rubio knocked down a 3-point basket, Kirk Douglas threw down a two-handed jam, and Davis tacked on an old-fashioned three-point play as Albion scored eight in a row to build its largest lead of the night, 37-30, with 2 ½ minutes left in the first half.
Jeff Beckman provided Spring Arbor’s response, scoring five points, as the Cougars ripped off a 10-2 run to seize a 40-39 lead at halftime.
Spring Arbor led by as many as seven in the second half.
Fordham hit a pair of baskets as Albion forged a tie at 61 and Rubio added another 3-point shot as Albion surged to a 64-63 lead with seven minutes to play.
The score was tied three times down the stretch before Albion tacked on its late free throws.
“We ended up getting a defensive stop, put in Adam Davis for the final 17 seconds and he was fouled going up for a shot after securing an offensive rebound,” May said. “He missed the first free throw which always makes a coach nervous, but he made the second one.”
While Fordham finished with a career-high 33 points, May noted the Britons received contributions up and down the lineup. Douglas added 14 points, one shy of his season high, and Rubio produced a career-high 11. Dylan Bennett produced a pair of 3-point baskets off the bench, Aquavius Burks pulled down a team-high six rebounds and Darius Branch dished out seven assists.
Spring Arbor placed three players in double figures. Paul Marandet led the starters with 17 and Hogans finished with 16. Drew Zuidema produced 12 off the bench.
Albion, 3-5 overall, returns home Wednesday for a 6 o’clock game against 19th-ranked North Park University. Courtesy of Bobby Lee, Albion College