San Antonio - The Trinity men's basketball team opened up the 2018-19 season with a 79-68 defeat at the hands of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (TX) on Wednesday night.
Trinity missed its first five shots and fell behind 7-2 less than four minutes into the game. The Tigers knotted things up 7-7 just over a minute later, but Mary Hardin-Baylor scored the next five points to regain control.
The Crusaders built the lead back to six points at 17-11, but again Trinity rallied with a 15-4 run that put the Tigers on top 26-21 with just under eight minutes left until the half. UMHB then scored nine of the next 10 to go back in front, but Trinity knocked down a game-tying three-pointer to make it a 30-30 game with 4:52 to go in the period.
Trinity's offense went cold and the Crusaders rattled off 11 consecutive points for the biggest lead of the game at that point. The Tigers were able to recover and score the last four points of the half, though, and the game was 41-34 in favor of the visitors at the break.
After Trinity hit the opening bucket of the second half to cut the lead to five, UMHB scored eight straight points over a span of less than two minutes to push the lead to 13 points at 49-36. That lead continued to grow throughout the first few minutes of the half and hit its peak at 65-43 with just under 11 minutes to go in the game.
Trinity got within 15 points with 4:30 to play, then cut the margin to 12 with 1:41 left, but the Tigers missed two shots that could have cut the lead to single digits, and Mary Hardin-Baylor's lead proved to be too much in the end.
Mary Hardin-Baylor shot just over 50% from the field in the game, while Trinity was held to less than 40% shooting.
Trinity opened its campaign and now stands at 0-1, while Mary Hardin-Baylor remained undefeated at 3-0.
The game marked the start of the 20th season of Trinity Head Coach Pat Cunningham.
Brooks Mays posted 17 points on 5-7 shooting from the field, including 3-3 beyond the arc. He was also a flawless 4-4 at the line.
Karthik Reddy had a strong night on the boards, pulling in a career and game-high 10 rebounds, and also recording four blocked shots.
The Tigers head to Arlington, Virginia, for weekend games at the Pablo Coto Tip-Off Tournament, hosted by Marymount (VA) University. Trinity first takes on Christopher Newport (VA) University at 3:00 p.m. EST Saturday.