San Antonio - Trinity's men's basketball team opened up the Leslie Robinson Invitational Classic with a 76-65 loss to sixth-ranked Whitworth (WA) University on Friday afternoon.
Whitworth sprinted to a 16-2 lead as the Tigers were held scoreless for nearly five minutes to start the game. Trinity managed to trim the lead to eight points (24-16) with just over seven minutes left in the first half, but the Pirates answered by scoring eight of the next 10 to push the lead back to 14. The Tigers weren't done though, rallying once again by ending the final five minutes of the period with an 11-3 run to make it a 29-35 deficit at the break.
Trinity shot just 33.3% in the opening period, but did hit 9-11 at the line to help keep pace with Whitworth. The Pirates shot just over 43% from the field in the first half, but the Tigers gave up just six free throw attempts and held the visitors under 32% shooting from three-point range.
The second half was similar to the first with the Pirates controlling the action early, but Trinity quickly stopped the spurt with five unanswered points to cut the lead back to seven at 34-41 with under 17 minutes to go in the game.
Trinity kept up with Whitworth for much of the period after that, but could never get closer than six points the rest of the way. The Tigers had a steal with four minutes left and trailing 55-62, but an offensive foul gave the ball back to the visitors, and Whitworth wound up with a pair of foul shots to push the lead back to nine. After two Trinity free throws, Whitworth sealed the win by scoring the next six points to make it a 13-point lead with 2:24 to play. The Tigers managed just one field goal over the final four-plus minutes, and that came with 39 seconds remaining when the game was already out of reach.
The Tiger offense shot much better in the second half at 45.5%, but Whitworth also improved, hitting half of their second period shots and hitting 14-19 (73.7%) from the foul line as well.
Trinity falls to 0-4 this season with the loss, while Whitworth remains undefeated at 3-0.
Isaiah Specks paced three Trinity players in double figures, hitting 3-5 from three-point range on his way to 16 points. He also tied Karthik Reddy for the team lead with six rebounds. Reddy added eight points and a pair of assists.
Danny Rivara made his 2018-19 debut, scoring 15 points on 5-10 shooting, but was limited to just 22 minutes due to foul trouble.
Brooks Mays added 10 points in 28 minutes of action, hitting 4-4 from the line, and dishing out three assists.
Nylan Yancy came off the bench with a team-best four assists to go with his four points scored.
The Tigers return to tournament action on Sunday, hosting the University of Texas-Dallas at 3:00 p.m. Trinity will host a game between UT-Dallas and Whitworth tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.