The Trinity men’s basketball team lost two close matches in the SCIAC Classic.
The men came up just short against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps College (Calif.) on Nov. 21 against Pomona-Pitzer College (Calif.) the following day.
Trinity played an exhibition game against St. Edward’s University (Texas) on Nov. 25 that they also lost. The Tigers also took on Concordia University (Texas) Dec. 1 on the road, where they lost 81-55.
In the first game of the SCIAC Classic, Trinity lost 64-54 to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The Tigers shot 39.2 percent from the field, 36.4 percent from beyond the arc and 42.9 percent from the free throw line. Sophomore forward A.J. Pulliam led the team with 14 points in 32 minutes, while senior guard Jimmy Clark led in rebounds with six.
The following day, the Tigers took on the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens. Trinity went into the half ahead 32-27, but then struggled to maintain the lead in the second half, falling to the Sagehens 63-59. In this game, the team shot 37.7 percent from the field, sank 28.6 percent of three-point shots, and dominated from the free throw line, making 13 of 16 foul shots.
The game was relatively even the entire time, but Pomona-Pitzer generated more second-chance points by coming down with ten more rebounds than the Tigers. Trinity’s starters, led by Clark, took charge on the court, combining for 54 of the team’s 59 points.
Despite coming up short in these two games, Trinity gained invaluable experience as they continue to prepare for conference play.
“This year we have a lot of potential and talent in the underclassmen and a strong group of older guys who can set the pace for our games and lead us,” Pulliam said. “If we can match this with a winning mindset and work out our mental kinks, I think we could be a very strong team throughout the remainder of the season.”
On Nov. 25, the men faced St. Edward’s in an exhibition game. The Tigers fell short in this performance, losing to the Hilltoppers 77-60 on the road. Although the game does not count against Trinity’s record, the men gained quality reps from it as they look toward their upcoming matchups.
On Dec. 1, Trinity headed to Concordia. The men struggled with three-point shots, shooting 27.3 percent, and had 22 turnovers. Pulliam and Matt Selling continued their consistenct shooting, but it was not enough to overcome such a large deficit.
“We haven’t played a conference opponent yet but I am confident that we will be at the top of our conference again this season once conference play begins,” said sophomore guard Khambrel Roach. “As of right now, we are all learning from each game and I’m sure we will pick up [the] pace soon.”
The Tigers’ next games are Dec. 5-6 as part of the Lopata Classic in Missouri, where they will take on Emory University (Ga.) tonight, and will play Washington University (Mo.) in St. Louis tomorrow.
“I’m excited about this team [and] our potential for getting better. We need to figure out our identity, and we need to start getting some consistency of both effort and performance from our key guys,” said head coach Pat Cunningham. “Once this happens I think we have a chance to improve dramatically and compete in every game we play,”