Trinity men’s basketball extends win streak to six games after sweeping final home weekend

The Trinity men’s basketball team is now on a six-game winning streak after hosting the University of Dallas and Colorado College for their last two home games of the season last weekend. The Tigers’ record has improved to 13-7 overall and 8-1 in conference games. They had previously beat Dallas 64-59 on Jan. 24, at Irving, Texas, and beat Colorado College 63-48 Jan. 25 at Colorado Springs.

On Friday, Trinity beat University of Dallas 75-59, despite only leading 36-32 at the half. Overall the Tigers shot 39 percent and 80 percent from the free throw line. They had a season-high of 50 rebounds for the game.

Senior guard Robert Kitzinger scored 22 points, shooting 7-9 from the field. He also had eight rebounds and shot 4-4 on three-pointers. Senior forward Zach Lambert supplied 19 points and junior guard Craig Saltarelli put up 11 points for the game. Lambert also had seven rebounds and senior point-guard John LaVanway had eight rebounds in the game.

“I think we made some strides as a team. We definitely picked up our rebounding, that was a weak area in the previous games, so we did a lot better this weekend. I thought our defense was also really stellar, that’s really what kept us in the games. We didn’t shoot that well, but the defense held us in there. Just going forward, it’s nice to have that momentum,” Lambert said.

On Saturday, the team hosted a senior night for graduating seniors Kitzinger, Lambert, LaVanway, Joe Shotland, Jonathan Wilt and Matt Holmes. The Tigers beat Colorado College 52-48 on Saturday, with Lambert banking a three-pointer with less than ten seconds left on the clock to seal the game.

Trinity led 19-16 at the half, shooting 25.9 percent. The Tigers went on a 6-0 run for the first three-and-a-half minutes of the second half, until Colorado College’s Ryan Milne banked a three-pointer to make it 25-19.

The game was always within seven points for the remainder of the second half, with Colorado College equalizing the score four times. The Tigers finished the game shooting 35.3 percent. Kitzinger led the Tigers with 14 points and Lambert followed with 13. Junior guard Matt Selling had nine points for the game. The Tigers completed the game with 31 rebounds, six assists and seven steals.

“Defensively we were pretty good; it was a good weekend for us, and from an energy standpoint I thought the guys really made another step forwards, being able to play hard and come prepared every game. We did well in those aspects, they were two big wins. When you play a team in back-to-back weeks, it’s easy to have a let-down when you beat them the first time around, so I was very proud of the guys to get those wins,” said assistant coach Ross Burt.

The Tigers will play Centenary College at 6:00 P.M. today in Louisiana and play at 4:00 P.M. tomorrow at Austin College. After this weekend the Tigers will play three more away games against Texas Lutheran, Schreiner and Southwestern before concluding their regular season schedule. The SCAC Tournament will be held Feb. 28—March 2nd at Trinity.

“I’m looking forward to this weekend. Road games are always tough. Centenary has Jonathan Blout, who can really score and was the conference MVP last year, and they’ve been playing well. I know they’ll be looking to pay us back for the game we played a couple of weeks ago,” said senior guard Joe Shotland. “Austin College gave us a real tight game at home and they can really get it going offensively, so there are certainly no easy games in conference. I think we’ll be fine, but there is no room to take either of these teams lightly.”