UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich.- The Saginaw Valley State men's basketball returned to campus and faced GLIAC North foe Lake Superior State on Thursday night at O'Neill Arena. The contest would be SVSU's first of three games in five days in conference play and saw the Cardinals grab their 12th win of the season, defeating the Lakers by a final score of 69-65.
Saginaw Valley won the opening tip and scored on its first possession of the game. The Lakers would respond with an early 6-2 scoring run that set the tempo early on in the first half. Facing a four point deficit, Garrett Hall helped SVSU climb back into the game as he would score the next four points and tie the score at 6-6. Hall would knock down a three pointer to give the Cardinals its first lead of the contest at the 16:54 mark. SVSU would regain the lead once again off another long three from Hall, who scored the Cardinals' first 12 points of the game. Richie Roberts gave the Cardinals its third lead of the contest, 14-13, heading into the first media timeout of the first half.
The Cardinals would then grow on its lead coming out of the break, pushing the lead to five points with a jumper from C.J. Turnage at 11:11 of the first half. Lake Superior would cut the lead to just one until Turnage connected on another jump shot for the 21-18 SVSU advantage. Devin Dixon kept the lead at five points after an offensive rebound was turned into his first points of the contest. Saginaw Valley led 27-22 before the Lakers would come back with a 7-2 scoring run, tying the game at 29-29 with 4:33 left in the first half.
Lake Superior State would take its second lead of the half after the stoppage. Turnage would tie the game for the third time at 31-31 with his third basket of the half. After grabbing the lead once again with a pair of free throws from Caleb Davis, LSSU tied the game for the fourth time in the half from a jumper. The Lakers would then knock down a three-pointer with 2:14 left and were able to hold on to a 36-35 lead at halftime.
Saginaw Valley began the second half by overcoming a three-point deficit with a three-pointer from Hall to tie the contest at 38-38. Hall would then take a missed three from LSSU and rush up the floor and score on a layup to seize the Cardinals first lead of the second half. Wade Gelhaus chipped in with a made layup to extend the advantage to 42-38 with 16:43 left to play. Lake Superior State would not give in to the Cardinals, who held its lead at four points following a made basket from Turnage.
The Lakers erased the Cardinals four-point lead with a 7-0 scoring run in exactly one minute of play as the contest headed into the media stoppage. LSSU grew its lead to five points before SVSU would mount a rally of its own with a 10-0 scoring run that gave the Cardinals a 56-51 lead with 11:11 left to play. The five-point lead was quickly countered by the Lakers, who tied the contest at 56-56 with 8:25 remaining in the second half.
Lake Superior State broke the tie with a three-point play after a foul call assessed to Roberts. The Cardinals then seized control of the contest as Devin Dixon would score the next four points for SVSU for the 60-59 lead. The Cardinals expanded to four points with 3:12 to play in the second half with a jumper from C.J. Turnage and another three-pointer from Garrett Hall.
The Cardinals would settle in defensively and hold Lake Superior State to just two points in the final 3:23 of regulation to secure its 12th win of the season, playing to a final score of 69-65.
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