DEARBORN, Mich. – The 2017-18 season looked to be nearing a close, with the University of Michigan-Dearborn men's basketball team trailing by 13 points with 3:30 to play against Madonna University in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament quarterfinals Wednesday at the UM-Dearborn Fieldhouse.
The Wolverines scored the final 15 points of the game, capped by three free throws from senior Gage Throgmorton (SR/White Lake, MI), playing in perhaps his final home game at UM-Dearborn. Down 78-76, Throgmorton was fouled shooting a 3-pointer in the corner and hit all three free-throws to push UM-Dearborn ahead with 26.1 left on the clock. The Wolverines made two stops on defense to capture an 80-78 win.
The victory moves (RV) UM-Dearborn to 19-12 overall and the Wolverines advance to the WHAC semifinals to face No. 1 seed and top-ranked Cornerstone University at 3 pm Saturday in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The play of the game came after senior Jason Penn (SR/Detroit, MI) completed a 3-point play to cut the Crusader lead to two. The Wolverine defense trapped Madonna in the backcourt and caused a traveling violation with 41.4 seconds to go, leading to the foul on Throgmorton.
Junior Mafiaion Joyner (JR/Battle Creek, MI) scored 10 points, including a pair of critical 3-pointers in the final 4:31 to lead the Wolverine comeback. Joyner finished with a team-high 24 points while adding 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Penn extended his career with 19 points and seven rebounds, while Xavier Crofford (JR/Detroit, MI) added 15 points, helping keep the Wolverines in the game midway through the second half. Throgmorton and Cody Kegley (SO/Yale, MI) each finished with nine points.
UM-Dearborn shot 26-of-64 from the field, 6-of-22 from deep and 22-of-31 from the line while being outrebounded 42-37.
Chris Dierker led Madonna with 24 points and nine rebounds, while Jonathan Swift added 16 points and six rebounds. Madonna closes the season with a record of 17-13.
WHAC Postseason Tournament (Higher seed hosts)
Quarterfinals, Wednesday, Feb. 21
No. 1 Cornerstone def. No. 8 Concordia, 78-62
No. 2 Indiana Tech def. No. 7 Siena Heights, 89-69
No. 6 Rochester def. No. 3 Aquinas, 71-65
No. 4 UM-Dearborn def. No. 5 Madonna, 80-78
Semifinals, Saturday, Feb. 24
No. 1 Cornerstone vs. No. 4 UM-Dearborn
No. 2 Indiana Tech vs. No. 6 Rochester
Championship, Monday, Feb. 26