Hutchison spurs men’s hoops past Anderson

Darrell Hutchison Jr. action photo

RICHMOND, Ind. – Senior forward Darrell Hutchison Jr. charted a career-high 26 points, including eight of the Quakers' final 11 points of the contest, to lead Earlham College men's basketball to a 75-71 come-from-behind victory over Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference-rival Anderson University, Saturday afternoon at the Druley Performance Gym.

The victory, Earlham's third over its last four games, boosted the Quakers to 6-12 overall, 5-6 in the HCAC, and into a tie for sixth place.

Anderson slipped to 7-12 overall with the loss, 6-6 in the HCAC.

Hutchison was 10-of-14 from the floor and went 6-of-9 at the free-throw line, to go with eight rebounds, three assists, and one steal. The 20-point game was Hutchison's second of the season and the 10th of his career.

Joining Hutchison in double-digits were sophomore guard Jamel Barnes with 17 points, to go along with nine boards, four assists, two blocks, and three steals; and guard Kenneth Stalling Jr. with 10 points.

Leading by five at halftime, 41-36, Anderson extended its lead to seven, 64-57, with 7:01 remaining following a three-pointer by Stanley Duncan.

That's where Earlham's comeback march began, starting with a conventional three-point play by Stalling and a pair of foul shots from Barnes to bring the Quakers to within two, 64-62. First-year guard Anthony Phillips kept Earlham within two points with a layup at the 4:16 mark, however, Maurice Knight's jumper off a Quaker turnover put the Ravens back in front by four, 68-64, with 3:18 on the clock.

Hutchison took control of the game from there. His layup on Earlham's ensuing possession brought the Quakers back to within two, and he put the Maroon and White in front, 69-68, with a layup and foul shot with 2:39 remaining.

Another conventional three-point play by Stalling extended the Earlham lead to four, 72-68, and a Hutchison jumper made it a two-possession game with a 74-68 lead for the Quakers.

An "and-one" play at the other end of the floor by the Ravens' Malik Laffoon cut the margin to three points, 74-71. However, Anderson missed a pair of three-point attempts down the stretch, and Hutchison converted the second of two free throws with five seconds on the clock to help secure the win.

Earlham and Anderson played a see-saw first half that witnessed nine lead changes and three ties, with the Quakers leading by as many as six, 14-8, early in the frame. The game was still tied at 36-36 as the first-half clock passed under the two-minute mark, but Anderson closed out the half with a Knight three-pointer and a Laffoon dunk to take a five-point lead,41-36, into the intermission.

Earlham shot 48.4 percent (30-of-62) – its fourth straight game shooting 44 percent-or-better from the floor. The 10 steals on Saturday versus Anderson was Earlham's fourth game this season with a double-digit steal count.

Anderson finished the night with five players in double figures, led by Cole Hartman with 18 points and nine rebounds. Knight also tallied nine rebounds to go with his 14 points. Laffoon charted 17 points, while Mike Peters dished out six assists to go with 10 points.

Earlham has a quick turnaround before returning to action on Monday, Jan. 28, when it travels to North Manchester, Ind., to face Manchester University in a make-up contest. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 19, but was postponed due to weather.

The Quakers will then have a 48-hour turnaround before hosting Transylvania University on Wednesday, Jan. 30, at the Druley Performance Gym.

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