ALMA, MICH. -- Junior Myles Copeland (Perrysburg, Ohio/Toledo St. John's) continued his hot shooting with another 37-point effort, this time in a, 94-88, win to lead the Trine University men's basketball team past Alma (Mich.) College in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and regular-season finale in Alma, Mich.
Copeland scored his game-high 37 points on 12-of-24 shooting (50.0 percent) and was 13-of-17 (76.5 percent) at the free-throw line. Fellow junior Pete Smith (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) was second in scoring with 13 points, followed by sophomore Jason Clune (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) with 12 points. Sophomores Langston Johnson (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Central) and Maurice Hunter (Monroe, Mich./Monroe) rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11 and 10 points respectively.
Sophomore Marcus Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) had a big day on the boards with a game and season-high 15 rebounds.
Together, the Thunder shot 50.8 percent (31-of-61) for the game and went to the free-throw line 36 times and made 27 attempts for a 75.0 shot percentage.
Trine (12-13, 8-6 MIAA) scored the first six points of the contest on its way to leading by seven points, 12-5, with 16:35 to go in the first half. Alma (8-17, 5-9 MIAA) came back to even the game at 12-12, but could not take the lead as back-to-back jumpers and a pair of free-throws by Copeland regained the lead for Trine, 18-12, at the 12:38 mark.
The Scots later got to within a point, 20-19, with just over 11 minutes to go, but again could not take the lead as a 5-0 mini scoring run by Trine, put the Thunder ahead by a more comfortable six points, 25-19, with 9:54 to play following a three-pointer by Smith. Trine later increased the margin to seven points, 28-21, on a jumper by Hunter, but Alma rallied again and outscored Trine, 16-9, over the next 4:58 to tie the game at 37-37 and eventually took a two-point lead, 41-39, with a minute-and-a-half left in the period.
The two teams then traded leads down the stretch with Trine taking the final lead before the end of the half with a triple by Johnson in the final seconds for a 45-43 score at the break.
Trine built its lead out to nine points in the opening minutes of the second half and later led by as many as 10 points, 77-67, with just under seven minutes to go after a pair of freebies by Copeland.
Alma would not go quietly as the Scots went on an ensuing 12-2 run to tie the game at 79-79 at the 4:38 mark. After a pair of jumpers by sophomore Nick Daman (Napoleon, Ohio/Napoleon) and Copeland that resulted in a four-point lead for the Thunder, Alma scored five answered points to take a slim one-point lead, 84-83, with 3:02 left in regulation.
A free-throw by Copeland knotted the two teams at 84-84 and a pair of free-throws by Hunter on Trine's next offensive possession, gave the Thunder the lead for good, despite Alma coming back to tie the game at 86-86 with just over two minutes to go. A combination of made shots at the charity stripe for Trine and missed shots by Alma, allowed the Thunder to regain control on the scoreboard and went on to post the 94-88 victory.
Alma shot 45.6 percent (31-of-68) for the game and hoisted 35 shot attempts from deep, finishing 16-of-35 overall (45.7 percent). The Scots were led in scoring by Arthell Rosquist with 18 points.
Trine will claim the fourth seed in the MIAA Tournament which begins next Friday, Feb. 23. Olivet (Mich.) College will serve as host as the top-seeded team. The Thunder will take on the Comets on Friday with the game scheduled to begin at 7:45 p.m. in Olivet, Mich.