BEXLEY, OHIO -- The Trine University men's basketball team traveled to Bexley, Ohio to take part in the Capital University Tip-Off Classic, but were defeated by the host school Crusaders, 69-53, in non-conference action at The Capital Center.
Senior Langston Johnson (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Central) led the Thunder in scoring with 16 points on five-of-12 shooting (41.7 percent), including going five-of-seven (71.4 percent) at the free-throw line. Fellow senior Marcus Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) and sophomore Brandan Johnson (Fort Wayne, Ind./North Side) both scored 10 points to round out the high scorers.
As a team, Trine shot an average 32.2 percent (19-of-59) overall from the floor, but struggled from behind the arc, shooting just 25.0 percent (five-of-20). Capital converted on 45.9 percent (28-of-61) of its overall shots, despite being held to 33.3 percent (seven-of-21) from long range.
The game begin with a 7-0 run by Capital (1-0) to give the Crusaders the early advantage. A free-throw by Geller, followed by a three-pointer by Langston Johnson, narrowed the gap to three points, 7-4, before an ensuing 9-2 Crusader run gave the home squad its first double digit lead of the contest, 16-6, at the 13:23 mark.
Trine (1-1) cut the deficit in half with a layup by Geller and then a triple by junior Jake Daniels (Grand Blanc, Mich./Holly) to make it a five-point game, 16-11, with 11:45 to go before halftime. But Capital wiped out the mini run with five consecutive points of its own to increase the margin back to double figures en route to leading by 12 points, 29-17, at the 6:31 mark.
The Thunder crept back to within single digits late in the period and got to within seven points on two instances, including a 31-24 score with a little over two minutes to play following a layup by Brandan Johnson. Momentum then shifted back to the hosts as Cap ended the half with an 8-0 run to post its highest lead of the game so far of 15 points with a halftime score of 39-24.
In the second half, the deficit for Trine hovered in double digits throughout and got no closer than 10 points, 47-37, after a jumper by Winters at the 13:27 mark. Capital then began to pull away and recorded its first 20-point lead with just under eight minutes to go as part of an 11-0 run to lead by 22 points, 62-40.
Capital went on to lead by as many 24 points in the game and went on to win by the final of 69-53.
Trine will remain in Bexley, Ohio for a matchup against Ohio Wesleyan University tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 16) to wrap-up the Capital Tip-Off Classic. The game is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. at The Capital Center.