OLIVET, MICH. -- Sophomore Maurice Hunter (Monroe, Mich./Monroe) and junior Myles Copeland (Perrysburg, Ohio/Toledo St. John's) both scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Trine University men's basketball team to a 79-72 win against Olivet (Mich.) College.
Hunter scored his 17 points on six-of-10 (60.0 percent) shooting to go along with 11 rebounds. Copeland scored 11 of his 17 points at the free-throw line (11-of-12 overall) in addition to his 11 boards.
Two other Trine players scored in double figures with sophomore Langston Johnson (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Central) scoring 16 points and junior Pete Smith (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) rounded out the high scorers with 10 points.
As a team, Trine shot 52.9 percent (27-of-51) from the floor and got to the free-throw line 33 times to make 21 of its attempts (63.6 percent).
Trine (6-7, 2-0 MIAA) jumped out to a 7-0 lead early on en route to leading, 12-2, at the 15:35 mark following a three-pointer by Smith. Leading by 12 points nearing the midway point of the first half, the Thunder took control of the game with a 13-0 scoring run that ended in a pair of free-throws by Copeland to lead by 25 points, 34-9, with 6:46 left in the period.
The Thunder went on to lead by as many as 28 points in the half, 39-11, with just over four minutes to go thanks to another pair of freebies by Copeland. Olivet (6-7, 1-1 MIAA) ended the half by outscoring Trine, 11-4, but the Thunder still led by 21 points at the break, 43-22.
Olivet began to come back on the scoreboard in the second half and outscored Trine, 50-36, in the final 20 minutes. Trine led by 20 points at the 14:22 mark when the Comets began to make their rally with an ensuing 13-0 run that narrowed the gap to single figures, 56-47, with 11:39 to play.
Trine answered the run with a scoring streak of its own of 9-1 that was capped by a jumper by Johnson to put the Thunder up by a more comfortable 17 points, 65-48, at the 7:24 mark. But the Comets would not go away and battled back to make it a four-point game, 69-65, with 2:43 left in the game.
The margin remained four points, 76-72, with 19 seconds to go when the combination of missed shots by Olivet and one-of-two free-throws by Hunter, followed by a jumper by junior Marcus Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) to end the scoring, sealed the victory for Trine with a final score of 79-72.
The Thunder will return home to play their first game in the MTI Center against Adrian (Mich.) College in a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association game on Wednesday, Jan. 10. The game is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m.