ANGOLA, IND. -- The Trine University men's basketball team came back from trailing by as many as 14 points early in the first half to beat Heidelberg (Ohio) University, 88-80, in its final game of the St. Andrews Products Classic at the MTI Center in Angola, Ind.
As a team, the Thunder shot 50.9 percent (29-of-57) from the field and got to the free-throw line 38 times, and made 29, to shoot 76.3 percent.
Individually, senior Myles Copeland (Perrysburg, Ohio/Toledo St. John's) scored a game-high 28 points, with 12 of his points coming from the charity stripe (12-of-15 overall), and shot eight-of-18 (44.4 percent) from the field.
Three other players scored in double figures with junior Langston Johnson (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Central) scoring 17 points, followed by senior Ellis Cummings (Ottawa Hills, Ohio/Ottawa Hills) at 16 points. Senior Pete Smith (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) rounded out the leading scorers with 12 points.
Smith, Cummings and junior Marcus Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) led all players in rebounding with seven boards each.
The game began with Heidelberg (3-6 overall) scoring 13 straight points and led, 15-1, with 16:47 remaining in the first half. Trine (7-2 overall) worked its way back into the game and narrowed the gap to single digits at the 14:06 mark thanks to a jumper by Langston as part of a 6-0 mini scoring run that made the score, 17-9.
Trailing by 10 points, 25-15, with 10:53 to go in the period, a pair of free-throws by Copeland were the beginning of another 6-0 run that ended in a bucket by Cummings to cut the deficit to four points, 25-21, with 9:21 to play. Trine later evened the score at 29-29 and took its first lead of the game with 4:13 left in the half thanks to two free-throws by Smith to make it a 33-31 ball game.
Trine led by as many as four points in the final minutes of the frame and maintained a three-point margin at the break with a score of 42-39.
The second half saw Trine increase its lead to five points early, 46-41, before the Student Princes gained momentum with an ensuing 10-1 run to go up by four points, 51-47, with 16:11 left in regulation. Heidelberg matched its four-point edge shortly after when momentum swung back over to Trine as the Thunder regained control with an 8-0 run of their own to go ahead by four points, 57-53, following two freebies by junior Maurice Hunter (Monroe, Mich./Monroe) at the 14:03 mark.
Neither team led by more than five points until late in the contest where Trine put the game away at the free-throw line with eight of its final 10 points coming at the charity stripe. Leading by just four points with 36 seconds to go, 84-80, Johnson and Smith sealed the victory with back-to-back sets of free-throws to end the scoring and give the Thunder the 88-80 victory.
Trine will return to action next week when it travels to Alliance, Ohio for the Mount Union College Holiday Classic on Friday-Saturday, Dec. 28-29. The Thunder will take on host Mount Union on Friday in its first game of the two-day event which is set for a 7:30 p.m. start time.