OWENSBORO, Ky. - Thomas Hickman netted a career-high 20 points and Tiffin men's basketball overcame a halftime deficit to take down Kentucky Wesleyan 85-81 on Saturday afternoon.
Hickman's 20 eclipsed his previous mark of 18 that the freshman set just two games ago at Findlay. Four other Dragons were in double figures, including Joshua Williams (14 pts), Hunter Schmalz (13 pts), Austin Adams (13 pts, 8 reb), and Shane Waldon (12 pts, 9 reb).
The teams shot nearly identically, as Tiffin edged KWC 54.8% to 52.4% from the field and 43.8% to 42.3% from deep. The Dragons grabbed a narrow win on the boards at 30-28, but had an advantage in points off turnovers (22-14) and second-chance points (12-3).
Tiffin's seven made triples brings the season total to 194, and vaults two spots into third all-time in TU history for made threes in a season as a team.
Tiffin took an early 4-2 lead on a pair of Williams jumpers, but KWC responded with nine straight to go up 11-4 at the 18:10 mark. The Dragons would trail by 13, 35-22, with 6:32 remaining in the opening half, but closed the period on a 16-4 run to go into the break down by just a point, 39-38. The run included eight in a row to close the half, punctuated by a Hickman triple in the final seconds.
Adams promptly gave TU the lead with the first bucket of the second-half, but seven unanswered from the Panthers swung the momentum back in the home team's favor. KWC extended their lead to 10, 54-44, with 13:14 remaining in the game, but the Dragons would answer with a 16-5 run of their own as Waldon slammed home a dunk to put Tiffin up 60-59 with 8:18 to play.
The lead seesawed back and forth over the next five minutes until the game was tied at 73 with 3:14 remaining. Hickman broke the deadlock with a jumper and a Williams jumper and two free throws from Hickman put the Dragons on a 6-0 run that would prove to be enough. KWC was able to cut it to two, 83-81, with seven seconds left, but Hickman calmly sank two more free throws to preserve the victory.