On Monday, Nov. 11, the Trinity men’s basketball team was defeated by the Division I University of the Incarnate Word, 74-62.
“The thing we struggled the most with was the transitions in defense and the offensive rebounds, or the second shots; those are the two areas where we didn’t do as good of a job as we needed to in order to win that game. The high points were the fact that they are a Division I team and we, for a 30-45 minutes, played pretty even with them, but unfortunately we didn’t make enough defensive shots to win it,” said head coach Pat Cunningham.
The annual exhibition game against Incarnate Word has been a tradition for many years, and is always the Tigers’ first game.
“I thought it was a good way to start the year with a challenging opponent such as Incarnate Word. I liked how our guys competed. We do have plenty of areas to improve on, but it was nice to play someone other than ourselves for once,” said assistant coach Ross Burt.
Leading the Trinity men’s team was Jonathan Wilt with 16 points, followed by fellow senior Robert Kitzinger with 13 points. William Young led the team with seven rebounds.
“This game definitely helped us prepare for this huge weekend in Seattle vs #14 Whitworth, as well as two other solid opponents,” said junior Matt Selling.
Today, the men’s basketball team will be playing Whitworth College (Wash.), followed by a game against Pacific Lutheran University (Wash.) tomorrow and a game at University of Puget Sound (Wash.) on Sunday.
“We’re excited. It will be a good test for us to see how we are relative to other Division III competition. The first team that we play has been in the tournament for the past seven years, and they are a very good team. They will let us know how we stand on a national standpoint. The other two teams are both good division three teams that we will have to play well to win against as well.” Cunningham said.
The layout of the tournament will be similar to the SCAC tournament, with a quick game everyday for three straight days.
“We’re looking to do some work and have fun. In the past few years we haven’t started out as well as we should have, so we’re looking to turn that around this year,” said senior John LaVanway.
Yet the strength of the team in the beginning of the season are not the only changes that the men’s team is facing this year.
“We missing our two seniors from last year, Keith and John; especially on the offensive end, they gave us an awful lot last year. We’ve got a lot of guys coming back, six seniors and four juniors. They’re trying to adjust and pick up what Keith and John gave us. That’s the biggest thing. We’ve got five first years who are trying to learn our system and how to play at the college level. It’s an adjustment for them as well, but they’re very talented and we’re figuring out how they are relative to this team,” Cunningham said.