No. 22 Tigers Complete Comeback Behind Schmidt’s Masterpiece

Olivet Nazarene University men’s basketball team rallied behind senior guard to pick up a win.

Anyssa Hampton

January 19, 2024 Athletics

male athlete playing basketball

BOURBONNAIS, IL. – Facing a double-digit deficit late in the second half, the No. 22 Olivet Nazarene University men’s basketball team rallied behind senior guard Tyler Schmidt to pick up an 80-76 win over Calumet in McHie Arena Wednesday night.

Trailing 61-50 at 11:18 mark of the second half, ONU went on a game-changing 16-3 run to claim the lead. Schmidt sparked the spurt with back-to-back layups and Sam Emich followed with two free throws. The senior duo then put down one layup each to knock the Calumet lead to one.

After a Crimson Wave three-pointer extended the deficit to 64-60, Schmidt responded with a pair of free throws before Landon Pflederer scored a nifty reverse layup to tie the game. On Calumet’s following possession, Schmidt forced a takeaway and found Emich racing down the court for a transition layup to give the Tigers their first lead of the game.

From there, every time Calumet (4-12, 2-7 CCAC) threatened, ONU had the answer. And when Emich threw down a breakaway dunk with 2:33 remaining, the Tigers led by six. CCSJ’s Colby Wiggins knocked eight points in the final two minutes to keep things interesting, but Pflederer, Caleb Swearingen, and Daniel Murphy all hit free throws inside the final minute to seal the win, ONU’s fifth in a row.

Schmidt showed why he’s the CCAC’s defending Player of the Year, leading Wednesday’s game in points, rebounds and assists. The Valparaiso, Ind., native filled in 34 points, brought down nine boards, and dished out eight assists, dropping in 17 points in each half to lead the Tigers to victory.

Emich continued his stellar senior season with 17 points and five rebounds. Pflederer hit double figures for the 14th time this season, finishing with 10 points. Eli Edwards and Murphy came off the bench to net eight and four, respectively. Swearingen chipped in five and Griffin Andricks contributed a pair.

With the win, ONU improves to 7-1 in the conference and 13-3 overall. They will travel to Chicago Saturday to take on Saint Xavier at 3 p.m. CST.

For more information about the athletics program, contact Evan Wild, Sports Information Director,

To view all Tiger Athletics news, click here.

— Republished 1/19/2024 —

Anyssa Hampton

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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