Men’s basketball faces a tough start to the season including their trip this past weekend to Pacific Lutheran University.
The Tigers opened up with a battle against University of Puget Sound losing 99-105 in double overtime.
They did not go down easy half. In the first half, they were down 36-44, but the Tigers then outscored Puget Sound in the second half 41-33.
Tied at 77 all going into the first overtime, the Tigers led by eight points with 2:30 minutes left, but Puget Sound came back to tie it up 87-87.
The second overtime was a heartbreaker with Puget Sound taking the lead at 100-95 then finishing the game out with the lead.
Rebounds and turnovers were the main factors in this game, having the Tigers ahead with 55 rebounds to their 43 as well as 24 turnovers to their 14.
The teams tied with 16 assists each and Trinity led in fast break points scoring two to none.
Junior A.J. Pulliam had an outstanding game shooting a career high of 31 points, going 10-20 from the field, 11-13 from the free throw line and 9 rebounds.
Pulliam also led the Tigers with 5 assists.
Sophomore point guard Matt Jones led the team in rebounds having 10 while also contributing 18 points to the mix.
A game well-fought making 46.1 percent of their shots to Puget Sound 40.3 percent.
The following day the Tigers took another hard lost against Pacific Lutheran 70-79.
The Tigers were up 47-35 at half, but the Lutes came back strong after halftime tying the game 53-53 within the first two minutes.
The game was tied 67-67 with just over five minutes left, but Pacific Lutheran outscored the Tigers 12-3 to take the win.
Leading the Tigers in points this game was first-year Ben Beatie with 19 points, shooting 8-13 from the field and 3-4 from the 3-point line.
Beatie also led in rebounds with 8 total, while Pulliam had 16 points and 5 rebounds.
First-year forward Isaiah Specks contributed eight points; sophomore Brian Blum and junior Joseph Thomas both shot seven points for the game to round it off.
Josh Ingram led the Tigers in assists this game with four total.
Trinity led in bench points this game with 23 points, 8 more points than Pacific Lutheran.
The Tigers have different people stepping up in each game which is a sign of true depth on the team.
Overall, the main difference in total stats was second chance points with Trinity having 11 points to the Lutes 23, as well as our 18 points in the paint to Pac Lu’s 30 points.
Trinity finished the game with 39 rebounds, 21 assists and 13 turnovers, while the Lutes had 44 rebounds, 19 assists, and 9 turnovers.
Even though they are off to a rough start, they know what they need to improve on and it is never too late to turn the season around.
The Tigers have not had it easy having multiple injuries this season.
“The biggest challenge early on this year has been the loss of 3 players due to injury and 1 due to ineligibility,” Jones said. “This has caused us to have to play a lot of young guys and so we are all trying to gain some experience together on the court.”
Being such a young team brings many challenges having to know everyone’s tendencies on the court and learning all the plays.
Court experience is not something that can be memorized it takes lots of time playing together in order to really gel as a team.
Sophomore Nik Oakes speaks on the team’s plan as they move forward through the season
“Our plan to improve is to obviously learn from games that don’t fall in our favor. We need to focus on learning how to play together and close out games,” Oakes said.
This team is one that will not give up quite yet and will continue to work on improving their game throughout the season.
Looking forward, the Trinity Tigers put in more work this week and they will continue play at home on Friday, Dec. 18th at 6:00 against Hendrix.