ANGOLA, IND. -- Juniors Langston Johnson (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Central) and Maurice Hunter (Monroe, Mich./Monroe) both scored 18 points to help lead the Trine University men's basketball team past a competitive Great Lakes Christian College squad, 78-67, in non-conference action at the MTI Center in Angola, Ind.
Johnson scored his 18 points on eight-of-11 shooting (72.7 percent) and Hunter converted 50 percent of his shot attempts (seven-of-14) and went four-of-eight (50.0 percent) at the free-throw line for his 18 points. Hunter also grabbed nine rebounds to finish second on the team. Senior Myles Copeland (Perrysburg, Ohio/Toledo St. John's) rounded out the high scorers for the Thunder with 17 points.
In his first game as a member of the men's basketball team this season, junior Marcus Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with eight points.
In addition, Trine tallied 20 assists as a team with senior Pete Smith (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) tallying a game-high seven helpers in the win.
Trine (5-1) started out with an early 5-0 advantage thanks to a jumper by Copeland and a three-pointer by Johnson. Great Lakes Christian (7-6) then went on a 10-2 scoring run to move ahead on the scoreboard, 10-7, at the 14:56 minute mark. The two teams then swapped leads again thanks to six straight points by the Thunder which came on layups by senior Ellis Cummings (Ottawa Hills, Ohio/Ottawa Hills), Winters and then a jumper by Hunter that made the score, 13-10, with 13:11 to go in the first half. Trine never trailed again and went on to lead by as many as 10 points twice that included a 28-18 margin with 7:15 to play after a layup by Copeland.
The Crusaders made things interesting down the stretch, however, and chipped their way back to within three points, 33-30, with just under two minutes to go before the break. GLCC equaled its three-point deficit about a minute later, but a jumper by Johnson ended the scoring and gave Trine a little more breathing room at the intermission with a halftime score of 37-32.
Trine opened up its lead to eight points early in the second half as the result of a triple by Smith that made the score, 46-38, at the 16:50 mark. But GLCC answered with an ensuing 6-0 mini run to make it a one-possession game, 46-44, with 15:21 to go in regulation.
The Trine lead remained in single figures over the next several minutes until an 8-0 run that began just past the midway point of the period, put the Thunder out ahead by 10 points, 64-54, following a layup by Hunter with 7:18 to go. The Crusaders got no closer than eight points the remainder of the game and Trine put the game away late by jumping out to a 14-point advantage twice in the final minute-and-a-half en route to posting the 78-67 final.
Trine will remain home and will take on Baldwin Wallace University in a non-conference matchup on Monday, Dec. 17 at the MTI Center. The game is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.