BLUFFTON, Ohio – Albion College committed to playing a good brand of basketball Friday afternoon, and it was rewarded with a 94-53 victory over Grove City College in the opening round of the McDonald's of Bluffton Tournament.
Albion, now 7-3 on the year, advances to a 7 p.m. Saturday game against Bluffton University for the tournament championship.
"I think our guys were committed to being tough, playing fast and being physical and they were committed to the game play we had defensively which I think made things difficult for Grove City," Albion Head Coach Jody May said. "I really believe the defense starts the offense."
Jamezell Davis, Jr. led Albion with a season-high 28 points. Just as important, he shared the ball, and was credited with four assists.
"Jamezell had a really nice shooting game," May said, noting the sophomore guard from Ypsilanti, Mich., was 11-of-15 from the field, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range. "He was taking good shots, and he was sharing the ball, as well."
Davis produced Albion's first four baskets as the Britons jumped out to an 11-7 lead.
Grove City went on a scoring drought – producing five points over a five-minute stretch – as Albion opened up a 35-19 margin when Dylan Bennett buried a 3-point shot with four minutes left in the first half.
Albion led 49-25 at halftime and it led by as many as 41 when Caden Ebeling scored a basket and free throw to make the score 71-30 with 15:19 left in regulation.
Juwan Perry played the supporting role to Davis, scoring 11 points, grabbing six rebounds, dishing out four assists and collecting a pair of steals.
Bennett and Nathaniel Collins each contributed nine points off the bench.
Isaac Williams was the only Grove City player to score in double figures, finishing with 15 points.
- Albion is 5-0 this season when shooting better than 52 percent from the field. The Britons connected on 32-of-61 shots (52.5 percent) against Grove City.
- Albion made a season-high 17 shots from 3-point range. The Britons shot 50 percent (17-of-34), marking its second-best long-range shooting performance of the season.
- Albion dished out 25 assists, a season-high. Twelve Britons were credited with at least one assist
- Albion collected 14 steals, a season-high. Ebeling led the Britons with four, a season-high for him
- Austin Thompson, a senior guard from Farmington Hills, Mich., chipped in with his first five points of the season off the bench. He made both of his shots from the field.
- Albion's game vs. Bluffton is its final non-league tune up prior to the start Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play. The Britons have a Jan. 3 home date against Olivet College.