Denver, Colorado - The Trinity men's basketball team concluded its Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference road trip in Colorado with a 62-55 loss to Johnson & Wales (CO) University on Saturday night.
The first half of action was nip and tuck as Trinity held a 7-6 lead six minutes into the opening stanza. Johnson & Wales went up by five points with less than 12 minutes to go, when a Tiger jumper tightened the margin to three. The count was tied at 17-17 at 5:50, when a Trinity layup gave the visitors the lead.
After a Tiger dunk at 4:24, Trinity led 21-18. A foul occurred and the Wildcats sank two at the line. A jump shot then put Trinity up by three at 1:46. The Tigers, who shot over 46% in the first half, would go on to lead 25-24 at the intermission.
Both teams kept plugging along early in the second half as Trinity led 31-26. The Wildcats briefly took over at 35-33 with less than 16 minutes left, and a Trinity jump shot then tied the count.
A Trinity layup at 8:53 brought the deficit to just one point, 40-41, and a jump shot pulled the Tigers within two points, 44-46, at 7:14. Unfortunately, a 9-2 Wildcats run gave J&W a nine-point advantage with 3:22 to play.
Johnson & Wales went up by 10 at 2:30 when the Tigers kept battling and pulled to within eight at 1:29. Two free throws brought Trinity to 52-58 with 49 seconds remaining. Late-game fouls occurred by the Tigers, and Johnson & Wales took a 60-52 lead. A three-pointer by Trinity tightened the score to 55-60, but two Wildcat shots at the charity stripe were the last scoring plays of the game.
Trinity now stands at 2-13 overall and 2-4 in the SCAC, with the squad's sixth straight loss. Johnson & Wales picked up its third consecutive win and improved to 12-5, with a 5-3 mark in conference play.
The Tigers and Wildcats played for the first time in their history.
Isaiah Specks was the only Tiger player to score in double figures, with 13 points in his column. Specks went 5-7 at the free-throw line and pulled in five rebounds.
Danny Rivara added eight points and a team-best nine rebounds, and led the game with three blocked shots.
The Tigers outrebounded the Wildcats 43-37, as Trinity tied a team season-high for total rebounds. Trinity shot 43.1% from the field and Johnson & Wales hit 34.9% of its shots.
Trinity will get another shot at Johnson & Wales as the Tigers will host the Wildcats at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 18.