ANGOLA, IND. -- The Trine University men's basketball team defeated Hope (Mich.) College, 73-59, to snap a four-game winless streak in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and regular-season finale at the MTI Center on senior day.
Senior Langston Johnson (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Central) led the team in scoring with 18 points and shot 38.9 percent from the field (seven-of-18) to go along with four rebounds and a game-high five assists. Fellow senior Marcus Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) was second in scoring with 16 points and had four three-pointers.
Senior Maurice Hunter (Monroe, Mich./Monroe) and freshman Mitchell Geller (Huntington, Ind./Huntington North) rounded out the high scorers with 12 points each. In addition, sophomore Bryce Williams (Archbold, Ohio/Archbold) tallied a team-high six rebounds.
The two teams swapped leads three times in the game which all came in the first 7:47. Hope (12-13, 5-9 MIAA) grabbed an early three-point lead and then matched its advantage shortly after before a layup by Geller that was followed by a jumper by Hunter, gave Trine (14-11, 8-6 MIAA) its first lead of the contest, 6-5, at the 14:34 mark.
Hope regained the lead on a layup, but jumper by Langston Johnson put the Thunder out ahead for good with 12:13 to go in the first half to lead by a point, 8-7. The basket was the start of a 7-0 scoring run by Trine and resulted in a six-point advantage, 13-7, following a three-pointer by senior Jake Daniels (Grand Blanc, Mich./Holly) just before the halfway point of the half.
Trine later led by seven points, 18-11, after a triple by Langston Johnson, when the Flying Dutchmen scored on consecutive layups to make it a three-point game, 18-15. Both teams traded layups to keep the margin at three points, but then the Thunder outscored the Dutchmen, 9-3, to record their largest lead of the half of nine points, 29-20, with 2:07 to go before the break.
Hope scored on back-to-back baskets, but the final points of the period came on a Hunter layup to give the home squad a seven-point lead at the intermission, 31-24.
The second half started with five quick points by Hope to make it a one-possession game, 31-29. The Trine lead later shrunk to just a point when seven straight points by Trine that ended in a three-pointer by Winters, gave the Thunder a more comfortable seven-point margin, 40-32, with 14:07 to play.
Trine's lead later clipped double digits for the first time in the game at the 11:51 mark after a three by Daniels to make it a 47-36 game. Hope then scored six unanswered to narrow the gap to five points, but Trine answered with five straight points of its own to extend the lead back to double figures, 52-42, with under nine minutes remaining.
The Trine lead never dropped below seven points the rest of the way and grew to as many as 18 points on a pair of free-throws by Hunter as the Thunder began to pull away in the final minutes. The final points of the game came on two Hope free-throws, but the Trine had the game in hand and went on to the 14-point victory, 73-59.
Trine will make its ninth straight appearance in the MIAA Tournament that begins next week. More details to follow.
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