Atlanta, Georgia - The Trinity men's basketball team lost a hard-fought 60-55 battle to Oglethorpe (GA) University Friday night.
The first 10 minutes of the opening period featured a back-and-forth game that never saw a lead of more than three points for either team. Trinity broke that trend shortly after by taking a 20-16 advantage, but Oglethorpe battled back by scoring seven of the next nine points to take a 23-22 lead with under five minutes left in the half.
The two teams continued to trade leads over the final minutes of the half. The Tigers broke a 26-26 tie with a bucket from Aaron Knopp with 1:28 remaining and neither team scored again until the final seconds. That's when Oglethorpe knocked in a go-ahead three-pointer at the buzzer to take a 29-28 lead into the locker room.
Neither team shot well in the first half, hitting less than 40% of their field goals. Oglethorpe had a five-point margin at the three-point line, hitting 7-18 from distance and holding the Tigers to just 2-9 from three-point range.
The Stormy Petrels were held under 30% shooting from beyond the arc in the second half, but the home team shot nearly 46% from the field overall to help secure the win. Despite shooting just 29% in the second half - including 0-7 on three-pointers - Trinity fought to the very end in search of the road win.
The second half was much like the first in that neither team could build much of a lead in the early going. After the Tigers tied the game 43-43 with under nine minutes to go, Trinity was held scoreless for more than four minutes of game time. The Petrels took advantage with a 12-0 run to take control of the game.
The Trinity rally began shortly after that, cutting the lead in half with four foul shots and a jumper to make it 55-49 with 3:25 remaining. A pair of free throws and a layup over the next two-plus minutes made it a 56-53 game with under 90 seconds to play. The Tigers missed their next five shots, though, and Oglethorpe hit 4-4 from the foul line in the final minute to seal the win.
Trinity stands at 0-6 on the season, while Oglethorpe improved to 3-3 with the victory.
The Tigers and Petrels last played in January 2012, when both teams were members of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. Trinity won that game 76-54 on its home court.
Jordan Lippman led the game with a career-high 15 points in his first year of collegiate competition. Lippman shot 6-10 from the field and grabbed a career-best eight rebounds as well.
Aaron Knopp came off the bench to hit 5-7 from the field and chalked up a season-best 12 points for the Tigers.
Karthik Reddy pulled in a career and team season-best 11 rebounds, while blocking three shots.
Danny Rivara rounded out Trinity's double-digit scorers with 11 points to go with four rebounds in his 22 minutes of action.
Trinity shot 31.3% from the field and Oglethorpe went 40.4%. The Petrels made 36% from beyond the arc while Trinity was limited to 12.5%.
The Tigers did go 13-14 at the free-throw line, shooting nearly 93%. Trinity's bench outscored the opponent 25-5.
Trinity will take on 23rd-ranked Emory (GA) University in Atlanta at 4:00 p.m. (EST) on Saturday.