ANGOLA, IND. -- The Trine University men's basketball team led by 24 points at halftime and withstood a second-half rally to come away with an 80-70 win against Calvin (Mich.) College in a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association game at the MTI Center.
Trine scored 48 points in the first half behind an impressive 63.3 percent (19-of-30) team shooting percentage, including a perfect six-of-six from three-point range. Trine (10-5, 3-1 MIAA) scored the first 13 points of the contest over the course of the first 4:49 of the opening period.
The Thunder maintained their double-digit lead the rest of the half and surpassed a 20-point margin with 2:13 to go on a layup by junior Maurice Hunter (Monroe, Mich./Monroe) that made the score, 42-21. Trine led by as many as 24 points twice which included a halftime score of 48-24.
The second half saw the Trine shooting cool as the Thunder shot 34.5 percent (10-of-29) for the final 20 minutes and Calvin (7-8, 2-2 MIAA) picked up its offense with 46 points and shot 55.9 percent (19-of-34) from the field, including 50.0 percent (five-of-10) from behind the arc.
Calvin began to chip away at the Trine advantage and outscored the Thunder, 21-5, in the first 7:14 of the second half to narrow the gap to single figures and trail by just eight points, 53-45, with 12:46 to go in regulation. The Knights later pulled to within seven points that included a 57-50 deficit when the Thunder responded with a 9-2 scoring run on back-to-back-to-back triples by junior Langston Johnson (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Central) and resulted in a more comfortable, 68-52, margin with 7:43 to play.
Following a bucket by Calvin after the third three-pointer by Johnson, freshman Nick Bowman (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) connected on another three-pointer to complete a string for four straight offensive possessions for Trine that ended in a successful triple.
But the Knights would not go away and rallied again to get to within seven points once more, 75-68, with just over a minute remaining on the clock. Four straight free-throws by the Thunder that were separated by a Calvin turnover, sealed the deal for Trine as the lead grew back to double figures, 79-68, with 35 seconds to go.
A layup by Calvin and one-of-two free-throws by Trine senior forward Myles Copeland (Perrysburg, Ohio/Toledo St. John's) ended the scoring as the Thunder went on to win by the final of 80-70.
Four Trine players scored in double figures, led by Johnson with a game-high 24 points on eight-of-16 shooting (50.0 percent), including five-of-six (83.3 percent) in three-point attempts. Senior Pete Smith (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) was second with 16 points and scored 14 of those points in the first half as he started the game a perfect five-of-five overall and four-of-four from deep.
Senior forward Ellis Cummings (Ottawa Hills, Ohio/Ottawa Hills) was third in scoring with 14 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Copeland completed the list of high scorers with 12 points to go along with seven boards.
In addition, Smith and junior Marcus Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) both had a game-tying high five assists and Johnson added four helpers.
Trine is scheduled to travel to Albion, Mich. for a MIAA showdown against Albion (Mich.) College on Wednesday, Jan. 16. The game is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m.