UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The No. 6-ranked Saginaw Valley State University men's basketball team travelled to Walsh University on Saturday to complete its first GLIAC road trip of the 2017 calendar year. The Cardinals were unable to hold an eight-point lead with 4:54 left to play and would eventually fall on to the Cavaliers by a score of 87-85.
Walsh would strike first in the game by scoring on its first possession on a made layup at 19:27. The Cardinals would score its first points on the following sequence with a three-pointer from Caleb Davis to give SVSU an early 3-2 lead. The Cavaliers would shoot their way back out front, carrying an 8-4 edge until Garrett Hall knocked down a corner three to cut their deficit to one. A tip-in from Davis and a layup from C.J. Turnage made the score 12-11 in favor of Walsh at the first media timeout.
The Cavaliers jumped out to a six point lead following the stoppage before Richie Roberts stopped the scoring run with his only points of the first half. Roberts' basket and a Devin Dixon jumper cut the deficit to four. SVSU would counter the Cavalier attack at the media stoppage with a pair of free throw makes from Wade Gelhaus and consecutive baskets from Turnage that pushed the score to 26-23 Walsh with 8:28 left to play in the first half.
Saginaw Valley was forced to call a timeout shortly after a pair of threes from Walsh, but responded by tying the game at 34-34 with a pair of three-pointers from Davis and Hall and points from Turnage. The Cardinals briefly held the lead when Mike Wells scored his only points of the half to give SVSU the two-point edge. Walsh would score the next five points and lead 39-36 with 1:56 left in the first half.
The Cardinals proceeded to go on a 6-2 scoring run. Gelhaus made a pair of free throws to make the score 39-38 while Turnage finished the half with two jumpers, including a buzzer-beating floater that gave the Cardinals a 42-41 lead at the break.
Walsh countered the SVSU scoring run with a 11-2 of their own to begin the second half. Jake Daniels chipped away with his only three of the half, making the score 52-47 for Walsh early on. The Daniels three ball sparked the offense with a layup by Gelhaus and a three-point play from Mike Wells. The flurry of points tied the contest at 52-52 just before the media timeout. Walsh hit a three to enter into the media stoppage.
SVSU countered the Walsh three with another three-point play from Gelhaus that knotted the score at 55. The offense then found life from beyond the arc, getting a pair of long balls from Richie Roberts that gave Saginaw Valley a 61-56 lead. Saginaw Valley furthered its lead with points from Davis and Roberts that saw SVSU up 67-58 at the 11:00 mark.
From there, Walsh chipped away at Saginaw Valley's lead, as a pair of free throws at the 6:51 mark made the score 72-70. SVSU went into the final media timeout holding a 79-74 lead after Davis converted on another three-pointer.
He would also split a pair of free throws after Walsh scored four straight points out of the stoppage to make this a one possession game. A foul call on Hall forced Walsh to the line where they converted for a pair of free throws, tying the game at 80. C.J. Turnage would then score on SVSU's next drive to regain the lead. After the Cavaliers converted on another sets of shots from the stripe, the Cardinals used a timeout with the game tied at 82-82 with 1:08 left in regulation.
Walsh scored off a SVSU turnover that gave them an 84-82 lead with 47 seconds left. SVSU would get the ball back and send Garrett Hall back to the free throw line, in hopes of tying the game. Hall would miss on his second attempt but would take the lead after an offensive rebound putback from Turnage with 34 seconds left. The putback forced a timeout from Walsh.
Walsh used its final possession of the game to draw contact in the paint and get its next shot to count, as a foul was assessed to Davis. The Cavaliers made the free throw line that now gave WU a 87-85 lead with just five seconds left to play.
The Cardinals would inbound the ball into Garrett Hall, who would hit the front of the rim on his last second shot. SVSU would lose its second straight game by a final score of 87-85 over Walsh.
Inside the Boxscore
- C.J. Turnage recorded 16 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and a steal to compile his sixth double-double of the season. The senior forward has put up a double-double in consecutive games was named the Meijer "Player of the Game".
- Caleb Davis had a team-high 18 points along with 5 rebounds and a steal to lead the Cardinals offense.
- Garrett Hall chipped in with 15 points and went three-for-seven from beyond the arc. Hall is now tied in second place in program history with 181 career three-pointers made. He also pulled in seven rebounds in 29 minutes.
- Richie Roberts scored 13 points (3-of-5 in 3pt FG) and had two assists off the bench for the Cardinals.
- Saginaw Valley's bench outscored Walsh by a 31-11 margin. The Cardinals got points from Roberts, Devin Dixon, Wade Gelhaus and Jake Daniels.
- Walsh shot 54.5% from the field to beat out the Cardinals, who would shoot 52.4% in the game.
- The Cardinals outrebounded the Cavaliers 33-28 and had the 16-12 edge in assists. Both teams had four steals.
Saginaw Valley State men's basketball returns to campus looking to bounce back with a three-game homestand beginning on Thursday. The Cardinals are set to face-off against Northern Michigan in O'Neill Arena on Thursday (Jan. 12). Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m. SVSU won both meetings last year over the Wildcats.
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