ALBION, MICH. -- Despite trailing by 12 points at halftime, the Trine University men's basketball team outscored its opponent, 49-39, in the second half, but came up just short in a 81-79 loss against Capital (Ohio) University to conclude the two-day Albion (Mich.) College Tournament in Albion, Mich.
Senior Pete Smith (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) scored 19 of his team-high 22 points in the first half and shot nine-of-16 for the game (56.3 percent) and had a game-high four assists. Junior Maurice Hunter (Monroe, Mich./Monroe) was one of two other Thunder players in double figures with 14 points and freshman Nick Bowman (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) rounded out the high scorers with 10 points.
Capital (1-1) opened the contest with a 13-0 scoring run on its way to leading by as many as 20 points, 26-6, at the 13:03 minute mark. Trine (2-1) would have to play catch-up the rest of the half and slowly worked its way to within 11 points on two occasions in the final two-and-a-half minutes with the last one being a 39-28 deficit after a layup by Bowman with 1:50 to go. The Crusaders then connected on a three-pointer before a jumper by Bowman ended the scoring in the period and made it a 42-30 ballgame at the break.
A jumper by senior Myles Copeland (Perrysburg, Ohio/Toledo St. John's) that started the second half sparked a 16-4 run and evened the game at 46-46 with 14:23 to go in regulation. Capital kept Trine from taking the lead and later took a six-point advantage, 61-55, before back-to-back baskets by Bowman, Smith and a pair of free-throws by Hunter knotted the game at 61-61 at the 7:32 mark.
Trine later took its first lead of the game with a little over five minutes to go thanks to a three-point play by freshman Bryce Williams (Archbold, Ind./Archbold). Shortly after, the Thunder increased their lead to four points, 71-67, with just over four minutes remaining, when a 7-0 run by Capital allowed the Crusaders to regain the lead for good with a six-point margin, 77-71, with 2:17 left. Trine would not go away, however, and made things interesting down the stretch, pulling to within a point, 79-78, with seven seconds on the clock. But Capital was able to convert on critical free-throws in the final seconds to hang on for the 81-79 victory.
Both teams shot well from the field with both squads shooting above 50 percent. Trine was good on 55.4 percent of its shots (31-of-56) as Capital shot 51.6 percent (32-of-62). The Thunder also took advantage of their opportunities at the free-throw line and converted an impressive 92.9 percent of their attempts (13-of-14).
Trine will remain on the road and will travel to Anderson, Ind. for a non-conference game against Anderson University on Wednesday, Nov. 21. The game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
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