ALBION, MICH. -- After a career scoring night on Wednesday, junior Myles Copeland (Perrysburg, Ohio/Toledo St. John's) followed it with a 37-point effort to help lead the Trine University men's basketball team to a 76-72 win against Albion (Mich.) College in Albion, Mich.
Copeland scored 24 of his game-high 37 points in the first half and shot 14-of-23 (60.9 percent) from the floor for the game in addition to going nine-of-11 (81.8 percent) at the free-throw line. He also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds with seven boards coming in the second half alone. Trine had one other player score in double figures in junior Pete Smith (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) with 14 points.
As a team, Trine shot 50.9 percent (28-of-55) from the field and got to the free-throw line 23 times, converting 17 of its attempts for a 73.9 shot percentage.
Copeland's hot shooting from Wednesday night carried over into the matchup against Albion as the junior scored all but two of the team's first 14 points of the game which led to a 14-7 advantage with just over 16 minutes to go in the period. Albion (8-16, 5-7 MIAA) came back with five straight points to make it a one-possession game, 14-12, and eventually took a one-point lead (17-16), its first of the game, at the 12:20 mark.
The Thunder did not give up the lead and later increased the margin to four points twice, including a 31-27 lead following a layup by Copeland with 6:48 to go before halftime. The Britons then connected on consecutive three-point attempts to take a narrow two-point advantage, 33-31, at the 5:34 mark. Momentum then swung back-and-forth between the two teams as the squads swapped leads the rest of the way. Trailing by three points, Trine ended the period with a 7-0 scoring run, capped by triple by sophomore Langston Johnson (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Central) that made the score 42-38 in favor of the Thunder at the intermission.
The up-and-down pace continued in the second half until about the midway point of the period when Albion looked to be in the driver's seat after building an eight point lead, 72-64, with under three minutes in regulation. But those would be the final points of the game for the Britons as Trine took advantage of ice-cold shooting by the home squad in the final 2:57 and scored 12 unanswered points.
Trine tied and then took the lead on a pair of free-throws by Copeland with 48 seconds remaining. The Thunder then put the game away at the charity stripe with a total of three more freebies, one by sophomore Nick Daman (Napoleon, Ohio/Napoleon) and two from Smith, as Trine came away with the 76-72 victory.
Albion had four players score in double figures, led by Arshawn Parker with 13 points.
Trine will play its final regular-season home game on Wednesday, Feb. 14 against Kalamazoo (Mich.) College. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the MTI Center.