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LIVONIA, Mich. — Elijah Ingram caught fire in the second half on his way to pouring in a career-high 23 points, leading the Marygrove men’s basketball team to an 81-72 wire-to-wire victory at Madonna University on Sunday (Nov. 15) in Livonia, Mich. The win was the first of the season for third-year head coach Craig Covington and the Mustangs (1-4, 1-1 WHAC) and was the only the second win in program history over the Crusaders inside Madonna’s Activities Center.
The Crusaders fall to 3-5 overall and 1-1 in WHAC play after being toppled by the Mustangs Sunday afternoon and did so as the road team inside their own gym. The Mustangs were the home team despite playing at Madonna after the game was moved to the Activities Center due to ongoing construction on the Green and Gold’s home court.
The Mustangs jumped out to a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the contest when Ingram knocked down his first of five three pointers off of a top-side feed from sophomore guard Ta’Kein Dixson (Atlanta, Ga./Loganville High School). Ingram struck again two minutes later, dropping in a layup with 16:20 remaining on the first-half clock to give the Mustangs their first double-digit lead of the game at 12-2, giving the makeshift hosts much-needed momentum after an unlucky start to the 2015-16 campaign.
The Ingram lay-in forced the Crusaders to call a timeout as seventh-year Crusaders’ head coach Noel Emenhiser attempted to regroup his team.
After the timeout, the Crusaders settled in and eventually cut the Mustangs lead to one possession, 22-19, with 7:47 remaining in the first half when Clarke Lamb converted an elbow jumper. The Crusaders would go without a field goal over the next three-plus minutes and the Mustangs capitalized with an 11-3 run to open up a 33-21 lead with 3:56 left on the first-half clock.
A Chris Dierker dunk temporarily halted the Mustangs run before the Green and Gold closed the half strong to take a 41-25 lead into the break.
Diante Taylor (Battle Creek, Mich./Central High School) led all scorers in the first half with 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and an equal 4-of-6 effort from the charity stripe. Taylor was followed by sophomore guards Kenneth Miller (Flint, Mich./Grand Blanc High School) and Tyler Sykes (Sterling Heights, Mich./Stevenson High School) with seven points each as the trio outscored the entire Madonna roster in the first half, 27-25.
The Crusaders made a push to get back into the game in the second half, cutting their deficit to nine points (54-45) with 11:26 remaining on a pair of Dierker free throws before Ingram caught fire for the Mustangs.
With momentum swinging back to the Crusaders, Ingram put on a dominant show, dropping in 13 straight points to propel the Mustangs to a 67-48 lead with 9:30 left in the second half. Ingram’s 13-point, two-minute outburst was a product of three triples and a pair of layups as the junior forward refused to be denied with the game on the line.
Ingram’s run gave the Mustangs a 19-point lead â their biggest of the game â before the Crusaders answered with another run of their own.
The Mustangs lead was cut to nine points on a pair of occasions late, but the Crusaders could not get closer as the Green and Gold secured a nine-point win in Livonia.
Ingram tallied 18 of his career-best 23 points in the second half and was followed by fellow forward [Diante] Taylor with 17 points. Sirafino Davis (Flint, Mich./Tiffin University) was a force all afternoon for the Mustangs, recorded a career-high 13 rebounds â all on the defensive end â while swatting six Crusaders shots. The 6-9 sophomore center also dropped in four points for Covington and the Mustangs to round out of his best outings in a Green and Gold uniform.
Zak Lewis paced the Crusaders with 13 points while Khalil Malone followed with 12 points and five assists. Dierker recorded the lone double-double in the contest with 15 rebounds and 10 points for the Crusaders.
The Mustangs will face a quick turnaround, hitting the court again Monday (Nov. 16) at Michigan-Dearborn at 7:30 p.m. Michigan-Dearborn live video coverage is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. on portal.stretchinternet.com/umdearborn/.
NOTES: Ingram’s run helped the Mustangs, but the Green and Gold’s nine-point victory was also a product of making three more three-pointers than the Crusaders â¦ the Mustangs victory also lifted the men’s basketball program to its first 1-1 start in WHAC play since joining the league prior to the 2012-13 campaign â¦ the oneÂ win in conference matches last year’s total (1-21).
MEN’S BASKETBALL CONTACT: Tim Johnston |Â [emailÂ protected]/* */Â |Â @tjohnston56
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Category: Men's Basketball