ANGOLA, IND. -- Senior Langston Johnson (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Central) scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help lead the Trine University men's basketball team to a 79-71 victory against Alma (Mich.) College in a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association game at the MTI Center.
Langston Johnson scored his team-high 19 points on seven-of-16 shooting (43.8 percent) and his 11 boards were a game and career-high. It also marked his first double-double of his collegiate career. Fellow senior, Maurice Hunter (Monroe, Mich./Monroe) was one of three other players to score in double figures with 16 points and also had nine boards.
Senior Marcus Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) was third in scoring with 15 points in addition to grabbing nine rebounds and had seven assists. Freshman Brent Cox (Kendallville, Ind./East Noble) rounded out the high scorers with 13 points to go along with six rebounds.
The first half featured eight lead changes and neither team led by more than five points which was an early 7-2 advantage for Trine (8-5, 2-0 MIAA) following a jumper by Cox at the 17:27 mark. Alma (7-6, 1-1 MIAA) went on an ensuing 8-0 scoring run to swing momentum and take a three-point lead, 10-7, with 16:11 to go in the half.
The Scots led by as many as four points twice following the run, including having a 16-12 advantage with a little over 14 minutes left before the break. Jumpers by Hunter and Winters, followed by two free-throws by sophomore Bryce Williams (Archbold, Ohio/Archbold) capped a 6-0 mini run for Trine and put the Thunder back ahead on the scoreboard, 18-16, at the 12:25 mark.
Both teams continued to play at a back-and-forth pace, but Trine took the lead for good in the first half with just over six minutes remaining on a jumper by sophomore Aiden Warzecha (Milford, Mich./Milford) which was followed by a triple by Winters to make it a four-point game, 28-24. Trine later matched its four-point lead and maintained a three-point advantage at the intermission after two free-throws by Langston Johnson that made the score, 34-31.
Trine outscored Alma, 22-13, within the first eight minutes of the second half to increase the lead to its largest of the game, 56-41, with 12:38 left. Alma then began to rally with an ensuing 18-2 run and took a one-point lead, 59-58, at the 6:52 mark.
A three-pointer by Williams put Trine back out on top and gave Trine what ended up being the final lead of the game with just over six-and-a-half minutes remaining in the contest. Alma battled to a 63-63 tie when a string of six straight points by the Thunder resulted in the breathing room Trine needed to help take control. With Trine leading by eight points, 75-67, with under a minute-and-a-half to go, a free-throw and a three-pointer by Alma put the Scots back to within striking distance, trailing by four points with 49 seconds on the clock.
Alma missed its final two shots as the clock ticked away and Trine added a Hunter layup and two free-throws by Langston Johnson to complete the scoring and record the 79-71 victory.
Trine will play its next two games on the road starting with a MIAA contest against Adrian (Mich.) College on Wednesday, Jan. 15. The two teams are set to begin at 7:30 p.m. in Adrian, Mich.