DELAWARE, Ohio-- The Trine men's basketball team was handed its first defeat of the 2015-16 campaign as the Thunder fell to no. 13 Ohio Wesleyan, 70-53 Tuesday night at Branch Rickey Arena.
Three-point shooting and the ability of the Battling Bishops to turn Trine mistakes into points were two of the major differences in the outcome. Ohio Wesleyan knocked down 15-of-38 attempts from long distance (39.5 percent) and forced the Thunder into 15 turnovers, nearly twice its season average. OWU was able to convert those miscues into 15 points. Seth Clark led the Battling Bishops with 23 points on an 8-of-15 shooting effort, including 7-of-12 from beyond the arc. Jared Holmquist (Reed City, Mich./Reed City) led Trine with 16 points and seven rebounds. The Thunder fell to 2-1 on the season. Ohio Wesleyan improved to 5-0.
Ben Simpson notched a double-double, scoring 12 points and adding 14 rebounds for the Battling Bishops. Reigning NCAC Player of the Week Claude Gray scored 12 points, but was held to a 3-of-12 performance from the field. OWU's 15 made threes were five more than its season-average. The Battling Bishops entered the game having attempted the ninth-most three-point attempts in the nation.
Will Dixon (Indianapolis, Ind./Zionsville) was the lone other Thunder player to reach double-figures as he added 10 points. Kyle Dodson (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) added nine points off the bench. Dodson has connected on three treys in each of the first three games of his collegiate career.
A three-point barrage from Clark broke the game open early for the Battling Bishops. Clark connected on four treys and scored 14 points overall in a span of 4:16 as OWU turned a 6-4 deficit into a 15-point advantage. All of Clark's first half scoring was accounted for during that stretch.
Trine was able to close to single digits after back-to-back threes from Dodson and Adam Ciszewski (Sacramento, Calif./Bella Vista). A Ciszewski free throw cut the score to 23-15 with 8:23 to play in the first half.
That was as close as the Thunder would get the rest of the night however, as an 11-0 OWU run pushed the lead back to 19. Three treys ingnited the run. The Battling Bishops hit eight threes in the first half. Trine was unable to close the deficit to single digits the rest of the night.
Ohio Wesleyan now owns victories over three of the top four MIAA teams from a year ago. The Battling Bishops also defeated Alma and Calvin in the early going this season.
Trine gets a quick break for the Thanksgiving holiday before hitting the road for Pittsburgh this weekend, where the Thunder will compete in a tournament hosted by Carnegie Mellon. Trine will face Chatham in the opening game of the tournament Saturday at 1 p.m.