Men's Hoops Rally to Beat Anderson

Men's Hoops Rally to Beat Anderson

ANGOLA, IND.  --  Four players scored in double figures as the Trine University men's basketball team came back to beat Anderson (Ind.) University, 77-69, in a non-conference game at Hershey Hall.

Sophomore Langston Johnson (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Central) led the Thunder in scoring with 19 points on eight-of-13 shooting (61.5 percent).  Junior Pete Smith (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) was second with 16 points and grabbed a team-tying high seven rebounds.  Sophomores Maurice Hunter (Monroe, Mich./Monroe) and Jason Clune (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) rounded out the double-figure scorers with 14 points each.  Hunter also tied Smith for the team-lead in rebounds with seven boards.

Anderson (4-5) led for almost the entire first half which started with seven straight points by the Ravens.  Anderson went on to lead by as many as eight points several times with the last one being a 20-12 margin at the 12:31 mark.  A jumper by Hunter, followed by a three-pointer by Johnson, cut the Trine deficit to three points, 20-17, to keep the game from getting away.

Trine stayed within striking distance and fought its way back to even the score at 36-36 with 2:14 left in the half following a triple by Smith.  The Ravens re-took the lead with a pair of free-throws, but the Thunder scored the final five points of the period that ended in back-to-back baskets by Johnson to put Trine on top at the break, 41-38.

The second half belonged to the home team as the Thunder never trailed the remainder of the game.  Trine continued to put on the offensive pressure in the early minutes of the second half and exted its lead out to seven points to complete a 13-4 scoring run and lead, 49-42, with 17:45 to go in the contest.

Anderson made it a one-possession game nearing the midway point of the half, 55-53, but buckets by Hunter and Clune increased the Thunder lead to six points, 59-53, with 11:35 remaining.  Following an ensuing Raven three-pointer, the Thunder took control of the game with an 11-0 run that ended in a layup by freshman Jalen Paul (Fort Wayne, Ind./Churubusco) to give Trine its largest lead of the game of 14 points, 70-56, at the 5:44 mark.

This time, the Ravens look to make a final rally and outscored the Thunder, 13-5, to get to within six points, 75-69, with seven seconds left.  But time wasn't on Anderson's side as a pair of late free-throws by Smith sealed the victory as Trine went on to post the 77-69 final.

Both teams were about even in overall shooting percentage with a slight edge going in favor of Trine who shot 47.1 percent (33-of-70) overall to Anderson's 45.6 percent (26-of-57) shooting.  The Trine defense forced 14 turnovers in the game which the team converted into 20 points.

Trine will be idle until Sunday, Dec. 31 when it travels to Chicago, Ill. to take on Illinois Tech.  The game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.

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