FREDERICK, Md. – Freshman Cameron Hayes finished with a career-high 25 points, but the Stevenson University men's basketball team dropped a 77-66 decision to Hood College in MAC Commonwealth action Wednesday night at BB&T Arena.
Hayes finished 7-12 from the floor for Stevenson (4-19, 2-12 MAC Commonwealth), including 5-7 from three-point land. Hayes also grabbed six rebounds, and he has averaged 20.0 ppg over the last five contests. Junior Johnny Rhodes finished 6-7 from the floor and totaled 13 points, while classmate Cliff Cornish posted a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Scott Bolen paced five players in double figures for Hood (14-8, 6-7 MAC Commonwealth) with 14 points.
The Mustangs jumped out to a 20-12 lead just over eight minutes into the game following a basket by freshman Ben Wiebusch. Stevenson took its largest lead, 27-15, with 8:36 to go before halftime, on a layup by Rhodes. Hood gradually chipped away at the lead and a Trevor Magnuski layup towards the end of the first half cut Stevenson's lead to five at the break, 41-36.
The Blazers outscored the Mustangs 13-7 over the first four minutes of the second half and took a 49-48 lead on a three by Jared Ruiz with 15:54 to go, but the lead was short-lived, as Ruiz was whistled for a technical and Hayes sank two free throws to put the guests back on top. The lead changed hands three more times before Hood eked out a 56-52 lead with 12:23 remaining.
With just over 11 minutes left, sophomore Korey Hayman Jr. connected on a three-pointer and was fouled, making the free throw to tie the game 56-56. Hood scored the next five points to build a 61-56 lead, but a three by Hayes at the 9:35 mark cut the lead to two, 62-60. Nine straight points by the Blazers allowed the hosts to open a 71-60 lead with 6:30 left, and from there, Hood maintained at least a nine-point cushion, leading by as many as 13.
Hood took advantage of 27 Stevenson turnovers, turning them into 27 points while the Mustangs turned 14 Blazer giveaways into nine points. Hood shot 51.8% for the game while Stevenson shot 50%, and both teams were strong behind the arc (Stevenson 8-20, Hood 9-21). The Blazers did go just 10-19 at the free throw line while the guests were 10-12, and the Mustangs held a 35-23 rebounding advantage.
Stevenson is idle until Tuesday, February 14 when it hosts Alvernia in an 8:00 MAC Commonwealth contest at Owings Mills Gymnasium.