ALMA, Mich.- Heidelberg University forced 30 turnovers and had six players score in double-digits as the men's basketball team defeated Finlandia University 109-68 in the first game of the 2012 Alma College Thanksgiving Classic.
Utilizing a smothering full court press, Heidelberg led 61-32 at halftime and cruised to victory, their third straight to open the season.
Freshman Jackson Blue (West Chester/Lakota West) led the Student Princes with 14 points, followed by 13 from junior Lee Renner (Gibsonburg). Renner was three-of-six from beyond the arc. As a team, Heidelberg shot 47.8% from three-point land.
"It was an all-around team effort tonight," said fifth-year head coach Anthony Gholson. "We shot the ball really well from outside, but the difference tonight was our press defense."
Ishaam Smith Jr. (Richmond Heights) had 12 points, Nate Davis (Dayton/Stivers) had 11 points, while Dane Givner (Pittsburgh, PA/Harvest Prep) and Cody Blizzard (Ashtabula/Lakeside) each added 10.
Givner had a team-high six assists.
Gholson used 14 players during the game, 10 of which recorded a steal.
"We've worked hard on the press in practice," said Gholson. "The guys are starting to understand it."
Heidelberg is 3-0 for the first time since 2008-09, Gholson's first at Heidelberg.
The Student Princes will return to action on Sunday at 3 p.m. against Alma.