OLIVET, MICH. -- Five players scored in double figures, but the Trine University men's basketball team dropped an 82-78 decision against Olivet (Mich.) College in a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association game at Upton Center Gymnasium in Olivet, Mich.
Senior Maurice Hunter (Monroe, Mich./Monroe) led Trine in scoring with 16 points and shot 54.5 percent (six-of-11) from the field. He also led the team in rebounding with eight boards. The duo of senior Langston Johnson (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Central) and freshman Brent Cox (Kendallville, Ind./East Noble) were tied for second in scoring with 12 points each. Langston Johnson also had six rebounds and Cox added seven boards.
Senior Marcus Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) tallied 11 points in addition to having six rebounds and five assists. Sophomore Brandan Johnson (Fort Wayne, Ind./North Side) rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10 points to go along with seven rebounds.
Both teams led by four points in the early minutes of the first half, but battled to a 17-17 tie at the 10:14 mark following a three-pointer by Trine's Aiden Warzecha (Milford, Mich./Milford). Olivet (6-17, 3-9 MIAA) answered with a triple of its own on its next offensive possession which also began a 7-2 scoring run to go up by five points, 24-19, with under nine minutes to go in the half.
Trine (13-10, 7-5 MIAA) continued the seesaw battle with an ensuing 13-3 run to swing the lead back in favor of the Thunder, 32-27, at the 5:55 mark after a layup by Brandan Johnson. The Comets eventually came back to regain the lead with a three-point edge, 38-35, with just over two minutes remaining and maintained a slight edge at the break by a score of 41-40.
Sophomore Bryce Williams (Archbold, Ohio/Archbold) got the scoring started for Trine in the second half with a three-pointer that also gave the Thunder the lead by two points, 43-41. The triple also started a streak of eight unanswered points that increased the lead to seven points, 48-41, at the 18:33 mark. The advantage eventually grew to double digits with 15-and-a-half minutes on the clock thanks to another three-pointer by Williams that made the score 53-43.
Olivet then erased the 10-point margin with a 12-0 run to make it a 55-53 game and never trailed again. The Comets led by as many as seven points twice in the final 11:31 that included a 76-69 score with 3:14 to go when the Thunder made one last push by outscoring Olivet, 9-2, over the next 2:10 to tie the game for the seventh time, 78-78, with just over a minute left.
The Comets scored on a jumper on their next offensive trip down the floor and then added a pair of free-throws as Trine was forced to foul in the final seconds. Trine missed on its final two field goal attempts of the game as Olivet preserved the four-point victory with a final score of 82-78.
Trine will travel to Albion, Mich. for a MIAA game against Albion College on Wednesday, Feb. 19. The game is set to start at 7:30 p.m.
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