Thunder Top Hope in Back-and-Forth Battle

Thunder Top Hope in Back-and-Forth Battle

ANGOLA, IND.-- Trine earned their first-ever win over Hope as a member of the MIAA, prevailing 65-62 in a back-and-forth battle Wednesday night in Hershey Hall.

The victory was Trine's first over the Flying Dutchmen in 23 tries since the Thunder became an MIAA-member in 2004. Neither team led by more than nine points in contest, which featured 11 ties and 13 lead changes. Despite battling foul trouble, Jared Holmquist (Reed City, Mich./Reed City) led Trine with a game-high 26 points on 8-of-16 shooting. He added 11 rebounds for his third double-double in the last four games. Harrison Blackledge scored 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting, and hit 10-of-12 free throws to lead Hope. The Thunder improve to 8-4 overall, 1-0 in the MIAA. Hope falls to 7-5, 0-1 in conference play. 

Holmquist played all but 1:30 of game time after picking up his fourth foul with 11:57 to play. During that span, the junior scored 10 points and pulled down three rebounds. He is averaging 23.3 points and nine rebounds over the last four games.

Will Dixon (Indianpolis, Ind./Zionsville) added 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting, while Tyler Good (Swanton, Ohio/Evergreen) added 12 points. Ben Syroka (Toledo, Ohio/Whitmer) notched 10 points and knocked down some key free throws down the stretch. Trine shot 42 percent from the field (22-of-52) and hit 90 percent of their free throw attempts (18-of-20).

Brock Benson scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Flying Dutchmen. Ben Gardner added eight points and dished out a game-high five assists. Hope shot 48 percent from the field (21-of-44), and hit 17-of-27 (63 percent) from the foul line. The Dutch entered the game shooting 77.6 percent from the charity stripe.

The Flying Dutchmen trailed by as much as nine in the first half, but a 7-2 run to start the second half knotted the score at 33 and locked the game into a tight battle over the final 17:27. The two teams traded blows, with neither team leading by more than four heading into the stretch.

A pair of free throws by Holmquist gave the Thunder a 55-54 lead with 4:07 to play. After a defensive stop, Good knocked down a three from the right wing to give the Thunder a four-point lead. Blackledge and Holmquist traded buckets before a Benson layup cut the score to 60-58 with 1:33 remaining.

Syroka drew a foul, and split a pair of free throws with 38 seconds remaining. Benson hit a layup at the other end to cut the score to 61-60 with 20 seconds on the clock.

Syroka knocked down a pair of free throws at the other end, and Gardner knocked down a pair of his own charity shots  to cut the score back to one with six seconds left. A pair of Holmquist free throws, and a pair of missed Hope free throws gave the Thunder the victory.

Trine forwards battled foul trouble all night, and Dustin Hall (Fort Wayne, Ind./South Side) gave the Thunder a lift defensively by guarding Hope's bigs. Hall came away with three steals and provided a tough presence despite giving up five inches of height to Blackledge and seven to Benson.

Trine returns to action Saturday, Jan. 10 when they travel to Adrian. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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