ALMA, MICH. -- Junior Marcus Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) hit a go-ahead three-pointer at the 3:47 mark of the second half as the Trine University men's basketball team came back from as many as 14 points down and came away with an 87-86 victory against Alma (Mich.) College in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play in Alma, Mich.
Winters was one of five Trine players to score in double figures and finished in a tie for third overall with 14 points. He also recorded team-tying highs of nine rebounds and five assists. Senior Myles Copeland (Perrysburg, Ohio/Toledo St. John's) led the team in scoring with 19 points on seven-of-18 shooting (38.9 percent).
Senior Pete Smith (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) scored all of his points from behind the arc as he connected on six triples (six-of-10 overall) to finish second on the team in scoring with 18 points. Winters and junior Langston Johnson (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Central) tied with 14 points and also tied in assists with five apiece.
Rounding out the high scorers was senior Ellis Cummings (Ottawa Hills, Ohio/Ottawa Hills) who had 11 points and grabbed seven boards. In addition, junior Maurice Hunter (Monroe, Mich./Monroe) matched Winters in rebounds to tie for the team-lead with nine.
The two teams combined for 11 ties and nine lead changes in the game, but the majority of the first half belonged to the home team as Alma (4-14, 3-4 MIAA) didn't surrender the lead for the first time in the contest until the 12:19 mark of the period when Winters scored back-to-back three-pointers, which was preceded by another triple by Smith and one-of-two free-throws by Copeland, as part of a larger 10-2 scoring run that put Trine (13-5, 6-1 MIAA) ahead by three points, 18-15.
Trine later led by five points, 24-19, with a little under 10 minutes to go in the half following a three by Johnson, but the Scots battled back and regained the lead on a layup to take a one-point edge, 28-27, at the 7:14 mark. The two teams continued the back-and-forth pace up until the 4:22 mark when Alma ended the half by outscoring Trine, 17-4, to go into the break leading by 11 points, 48-37.
In the second half, the Thunder outscored the Scots, 50-38, but Alma maintained a double-digit lead for a good portion of the first half of the final period, leading by as many as 14 points. Trailing by 13 points with 12:06 to go, the Thunder began to make their move that began with a 14-0 run that was capped by a tre by Smith and resulted in a one-point margin for Trine, 71-70, with 8:40 remaining in regulation.
The teams battled to a tie on the scoreboard four more times before Trine took the lead for good with Winters' triple at the 3:47 mark. Trine led by five points with just under a minute to go when the combination of a pair of free-throws and a jumper by Alma, put the Scots to within a point, 87-86, with just seconds remaining. Alma was forced to foul and sent Smith to the line for the Thunder with a one-and-one opportunity. Smith missed the free-throw attempt and the final heave by the Scots from just inside the half-court line as time expired missed its mark, securing the one-point victory for the Thunder.
Trine will next travel to Holland, Mich. to take on Hope (Mich.) College in the final regular-season matchup on Saturday, Jan. 26. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.