Finlandia Men making strides, but can't defeat the Scots

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HANCOCK, Mi. It was a valiant effort as the Finlandia University men’s basketball team (0-14) fell 97-89 to Alma (6-5), Saturday afternoon at the Paavo Nurmi Center.

“It was our best offensive and defensive effort of the season,” said head coach Sam Casey. “We competed for 40 minutes back and forth. It was an exciting game for our supporters in Paavo and those checking online. Today’s game was another great step forward for us. I’m proud of the effort from everyone!”

The first 10 minutes was a back-and-forth affair. Tied at 26, freshman Devin Moultrie slammed one home to get Finlandia going.

That started an 8-2 run that ended when freshman Riley Hendrickson dropped one in from his front porch in Crystal Falls. That put the Lions up 34-28 at the 6:52 mark.

Alma began to claw its way back in taking the lead at 40-39 with 1:52 left. Up one with 14 seconds left, sophomore River Shumate scored at the buzzer to put FinnU up 44-41 at the break.

In the second half, the Scots started quick to take the lead 51-46, at the 16:42 mark. Finlandia went on a 22-10 run over the next five minutes. Freshman Kaleb Kirksey rained in a triple to make it 68-61 with 11:21 to go.

Alma took the lead with 9:55 to go and for the next seven minutes, the teams traded buckets. Junior Jacob Oom drove the lane to tie the game at 85-85 at the 2:33 mark. The Scots scored eight straight to seal the game.

For Finlandia, junior Dylan Underwood had 17 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals while Moultrie scored 17 points. Kirksey had 13 points and eight rebounds and sophomore Joe Heinonen scored 10 points.

For Alma, Kyle Woodruff had 20 points and Steven Harvey scored 16 points. Ryan Stevens has 13 points and 13 assists.

Finlandia hits the road, Wednesday, Jan. 8 taking on Gogebic. The game is scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m. CST