GRANTHAM, Pa. - Only one of Hood College's starting five against Messiah had started more than half the team's games this season, but the new look lineup worked as the Blazers defeated Messiah 70-57 in Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth play.
Only Tanner Ruths had started a game for Hood in February, the senior has started every game this year. Ian Eversull, who started 11 games earlier in the year, was the only other player to start a game this year in the lineup. Tyler Evans, Michael Robinson and Daniel Wegener were each making their first starts of the season.
Inside the Box Score
- Ruths led the team with 14 points, while Wegener came up big with 13 points and eight rebounds in the victory.
- Jared Ruiz hit 3 of 4 from 3-point range and finished with 11 points off the bench.
- With much of Hood's regular rotation coming off the bench, the Blazers' reserves outscored their counterparts 35-5.
How it Happened
- In the first half, the new look lineup did not stem the tide of early runs by the opposition as Messiah jumped ahead 20-8 after five straight points by Rob McWilliams with 12:46 to go in the first half.
- What the lineup did do was energize the Blazers' regular rotation, who tore off a 19-4 run that culminated with a layup by Ruths to make it 27-24 in favor of Hood with 5:16 left in the half. Messiah fought back and led 36-31 with less than two minutes left in the half, but a 3-pointer and a 3-point play by Robinson down the stretch gave Hood a 37-36 halftime lead.
- Hood led 54-53 in the second half before holding Messiah to just four points over the final 7:56 to pull away. During the Blazers' game-sealing 13-4 run, they held the Falcons to 1 of 9 shooting with five turnovers.
- Josh Clippinger recorded game-highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds. McWilliams added 15 points, while Logan Long scored 11 points to go with five assists.
- Hood shot 46 percent in the win, holding Messiah to just 34 percent and 8 of 34 from 3-point range.
- Despite the win, Hood was eliminated from playoff contention. Wins by Alvernia and Widener clinched the final two spots in the five-team field. Lycoming, Albright and Lebanon Valley have also clinched spots in the tournament.
The Blazers host Arcadia on Saturday, February 18. The game is not only Senior Day at Hood, but the 2017 Athletic Hall of Fame class will be honored during the doubleheader.