SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The University of Michigan-Dearborn men's basketball team gave No. 2 seed Saint Thomas University all it could handle in the opening round of the 2018 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament, presented by Cypress Risk Management, Wednesday at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The No. 7 seed Wolverines recovered from an early deficit and found themselves in a back-and-forth game in the second half against the Bobcats. UM-Dearborn took its first lead since the opening minutes of the game with 12:49 to go on a layup from Jason Gigliotti(FR/Hartland, MI). From there, the game saw six ties and seven lead changes.
The Wolverines took control late in regulation on a 3-pointer from senior Gage Throgmorton (SR/White Lake, MI) with 49 seconds remaining. STU got the game-tying layup from Khalil Williams with 36 seconds to go. UM-Dearborn junior Mafiaion Joyner (JR/Battle Creek, MI) took a 3-point shot from well behind the 3-point line with 3 seconds to go. The shot looked good the whole way, but hit the front of the rim, sending the game to overtime.
STU quickly jumped out to a four-point lead in overtime, but UM-Dearborn continued to battle back. Senior Ashton Curd (SR/Detroit, MI) converted a 3-point play with 2:37 left, pulling the Wolverines within one. After STU split a pair of free throws, UM-Dearborn had a chance to tie or win the game with 14 seconds left and down two.
Curd pulled up at the free-throw line and shot a jumper that fell short and the clock expired with the ball loose on the floor. STU prevailed with a 79-77 win to advance.
The loss ends UM-Dearborn's season at 21-13 overall, the most wins in program history.
Joyner led the Wolverines with 27 points, including six 3-pointers. In his final game with the Wolverines, senior Jason Penn (SR/Detroit, MI) scored 13 points and added 13 rebounds for a double-double. Penn finishes his career with 1,692 points, fourth on the UM-Dearborn all-time scoring list.
Throgmorton ended his career with 13 points, six rebounds, and three steals.
The Wolverines shot 27-of-68 from the field, 9-of-27 from deep and 14-of-25 from the line while outrebounding the Bobcats 44-37.