O’Donnell gets first win as coach at Finlandia

HANCOCK, Mich. – The Finlandia men’s basketball team played host to the Northland International Pioneers from Dunbar, WI Tuesday night and came away with head coach Mike O’Donnell’s first win as head coach of the Lions, 73 to 60.

Early in the first half, it looked like two young teams early in the season as both the Lions and Pioneers struggled to score. The Lions started the scoring on two foul shots by freshman Brandon Robinette, just over 3 minutes into the game. The two teams went back and forth in the first half, with 6 lead changes. Northland International’s largest lead of the half was 6 points and Finlandia’s was 7 before finishing the half with a 36-32 lead.

In the second half, the Lions built a 16 point in the first 4 minutes of the half before the Pioneers chipped into the lead and brought it back within 9 points. Finlandia was able to get the lead back to 20 points with 4 minutes remaining in the game and Northland International brought it back to within 13 points at the end.

Both teams shot around 40% from the floor, but the Lions had the edge at the arc and the charity stripe. The two teams also had quite a few turnovers as the Pioneers had 24 and the Lions had 20 of their own.

Leading the way in scoring and rebounds for the Lions was Robinette with 20 points and 8 rebounds. Finlandia had 2 other players in double figures, freshman Eric Lori with 17 points and sophomore Brandon Robinson with 12 points. Lori also led the team with 5 assists in his 26 minutes.

The Lions are now 1-1 on the season as they head to Marquette to face Northern Michigan University tomorrow night. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.

(Information Courtesy of ABC 10 Sports)