HOLLAND, Mich. -- Mount Union's men's basketball team dropped to 7-3 overall with a 94-84 loss in a non-conference matchup at Hope (Mich.) (5-5) in day one of the Russ Devette/Holland Sentinel Classic Friday at the Devos Fieldhouse.
Sophomore Nathan Bower-Malone (Stow/Stow) tied his career and season-high with 25 points as the Purple Raiders had three scorers in double figures. Senior JJ Kukura (Alliance/Alliance) and sophomore D'Vontay Friga (Cuyahoga Falls/Cuyahoga Falls) scored 19 and 14 points, respectively.
In the first seven minutes, the Raiders got off to a 15-12 lead going 7-of-12 from the floor but the hot shooting did not last throughout the half as they finished 6-of-21 the last thirteen minutes. With the score 19-18 in favor of the Raiders, the Dutchmen went on an 11-0 run to gain a 10-point edge before two free throws from John Carroll (Massillon/Tuslaw) ended the run with seven minutes remaining in the half. Bower-Malone led a 10-4 run for Mount Union to cut the Dutchmen lead to 33-29. A 7-4 Dutchmen run sent the teams to the locker room at halftime with the Raiders down 40-32.
Hope opened the second half on a 16-6 run to push their lead to 18 at 56-38, a deficit the Raiders could not come back from. The Raiders cut the Dutchmen lead to 11 at 62-51 after a Bower-Malone three point basket with just over 10 minutes left in the contest. The closest the Raiders got in the second half was six at 69-63 and 72-66 after both teams nailed three point baskets with six minutes remaining in the game. Hope then went on an 11-4 run to push the lead back to 13 at 83-70. Hope never gave Mount Union any chances late as they converted on their free throws where they made 31-of-37 (.838) on the evening and took care of the ball late to finish the game at 94-84.
Hope was led by Dante Hawkins who posted 29 points on the evening.
Mount Union shot just 30-of-67 from the floor (.448) and 9-of-25 from distance (.360) while the Flying Dutchmen shot 26-of-50 (.520) overall and 11-of-22 from distance. Hope also outrebounded the Raiders 42-26 on the evening.
The Raiders will be back in action Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. in day two of the Russ Devette/Holland Sentinel against Olivet (Mich.).