HOLLAND, MICH. -- Senior Ellis Cummings (Ottawa Hills, Ohio/Ottawa Hills) scored a game and career-high 19 points to help lead the Trine University men's basketball team to a 73-69 win against Hope (Mich.) College and claim the regular-season sweep against the Flying Dutchmen in a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association matchup in Holland, Mich. Also with the win, the Thunder have now won their last six games.
Cummings was one of four Trine players to score in double figures with his 19 points and shot eight-of-13 (61.5 percent) from the floor and added five rebounds. He was followed by senior Myles Copeland (Perrysburg, Ohio/Toledo St. John's) who scored 18 points and also had five boards.
In addition, Marcus Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) grabbed a team-high eight rebounds to go along with six points and a team-leading five assists.
Hope (11-8, 4-4 MIAA) looked to take control of the game early by jumping out to an eight-point lead, 15-7, at the 14:31 mark. Two Trine possession later, A jumper by Cummings ignited an ensuing 9-0 scoring run that gave the Thunder a one-point lead with just over 10 minutes to go in the first half and ended with another jumper by Cummings that made the score 16-15 in favor of the visitors.
The Dutchmen responded with a 10-0 run of their own to regain the lead with a nine-point advantage, 25-16, with 6:16 to play in the half. Trine began to chip away at the deficit and fought its way back to a 29-29 tie late in the period following a three-pointer by Smith with 1:42 to go before halftime.
Hope led by three points on two occasions in the final minutes, but a tre by Winters just before time ran out on the period, tied the game at 34-34 at the intermission.
In the second half, Hope led by as many as six points and maintained the advantage until the 11:37 mark when Trine took the lead for good as part of a 12-0 run that ended with a jumper by Johnson to make it a 53-47 game with 10:35 left to play. The Thunder never trailed again and went on to post a nine-point margin at the 3:31 mark, 70-61, thanks to a dunk by Cummings off of a Winters steal.
Hope made one final rally late and got to within two points, 71-69, with just two seconds to go. After a foul that put Johnson at the free-throw line, the junior converted on both attempts to extend the margin to four points and seal the 73-69 victory.
Trine will wrap-up its three-game road trip on Wednesday, Jan. 30 when it travels to Olivet, Mich. for a MIAA showdown against Olivet College. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.