Senior Langston Johnson (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Central) recorded his third straight game scoring 20 or more points with a 25-point effort in a 73-71 win against Olivet (Mich.) College in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association action at the MTI Center in Angola, Ind.
Langston Johnson connected on a pair of critical free-throws in the final seconds of the game with the score tied at 71-71 that helped seal the two-point victory. He shot 47.4 percent (nine-of-19) for the game and went three-of-seven (42.9 percent) from three-point range in addition to three assists and a steal.
Fellow senior Marcus Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) was second in scoring and was within striking distance of a possible fourth-straight triple double with seven rebounds and eight assists to go along with 12 points.
Senior Maurice Hunter (Monroe, Mich./Monroe) rounded out the Trine high scorers with 11 points and also grabbed a game-tying high eight rebounds.
Olivet (4-12, 1-4 MIAA) led for the first 7:04 of the opening half and led by as many as five points during that span which came at the 14:36 mark following a pair of free-throws. With the score in favor of the Comets, 10-5, Trine (11-5, 5-0 MIAA) went on a 14-0 scoring run that included a pair of three-pointers by both Langston Johnson and sophomore Bryce Williams (Archbold, Ohio/Archbold) and gave the Thunder a nine-point advantage, 19-10, with 10:49 to go in the half.
The Comets came right back and pulled to within four points, but the Thunder never gave up the lead and went on to extend the margin to a more comfortable eight-point difference multiple times, including a 35-27 margin with just over a minute left thanks to a layup by Winters. Olivet scored the final five points of the period with a layup and a three-pointer to narrow the gap to three points at the break, 35-32.
The second half began with six unanswered points by Trine with four of those points coming off the fingertips of sophomore Brandan Johnson (Fort Wayne, Ind./North Side) en route to taking a nine-point lead, 41-32, at the 17:13 mark. Olivet hung around and kept Trine from being able to pull away as the Comets worked their way back to within two points, 51-49, with a little over 11 minutes left.
Trine later increased its lead back to nine points after outscoring Olivet, 13-7, after the margin dropped to just two points to give the Thunder a little breathing room. But the cushion didn't last long as an ensuing 11-0 run by the Comets gave the visitors their first lead since the 12:59 mark of the first half by a score of 66-64.
Both teams then traded leads before a pair of jumpers by Langston Johnson put Trine ahead by three points, 71-68, with under a minute to go in regulation. A triple by Olivet inside 30 seconds remaining evened the score at 71-71 when a foul on Trine's next offensive possession sent Langston Johnson to the free-throw line with a chance to give the Thunder the lead again.
Langston Johnson ended up scoring the final six points for Trine as he was able to covert both free-throw attempts and time ran out before Olivet could get a final shot attempt off as the Thunder went on to win by the final of 73-71.
Trine will host Albion (Mich.) College in a key MIAA matchup at the MTI Center on Saturday, Jan. 25. Tip-off is slated for 3 p.m.
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