San Antonio - Trinity's men's basketball team finished off a Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference weekend sweep with a 75-73 win over Centenary (LA) College on Friday night.
After Centenary scored the opening basket of the game, Trinity buried three consecutive three-pointers to take the early lead. The Tigers led by as many as eight points in the first half, but Centenary continued to battle back to keep the game within reach.
After Trinity took a 20-13 lead with just under 11 minutes left in the half, Centenary scored 12 straight points on 4-5 shooting from three-point range over a stretch of four minutes. The Tigers tied the game shortly afterwards and both teams traded buckets down the stretch.
Trinity broke the sixth tie of the first half with two scores late in the game, but the Gents got the last points to make it a 41-39 halftime lead for the Tigers.
In the second half, Trinity could never get further away than a five-point lead, but the Tigers also never trailed in the final period. Centenary cut the lead to a single point four times in that second half, but could never get in front. The Gents did score five unanswered to tie the game 62-62 with just over five minutes to play, but Trinity answered with a 9-0 run that put the home team back in charge.
Centenary made it a 71-69 deficit with a three-point shot at the 1:26 mark, but Trinity scored a pair of free throws to push the lead back to four points with 1:07 to go in the game. After the teams traded layups, Trinity still led 75-71 with 30.4 seconds left.
The Tigers fouled on the next possession to send the visitors to the line to cut the lead to two, then Trinity missed both of its free throws that could have sealed the game with 23 seconds remaining. Centenary was out of timeouts, but could win or tie with a basket in the final seconds. The Gents turned the ball over with less than five seconds left, though, and Trinity held on for the win.
Trinity improves to 5-17 overall and 5-8 in SCAC play with its second consecutive victory. Centenary falls to 9-11 overall and 6-5 in conference after dropping its second game of the year against the Tigers.
Danny Rivara returned to action with a team-high 17 points in just 15 minutes of work, hitting 6-9 from the field and 5-5 from the foul line.
Jordan Lippman was the only other Tiger in double figures, scoring 14 points on 3-9 shooting - though he was a perfect 6-6 at the charity stripe.
First-years Carter Laramore and Ben Hanley had solid games to help the Tigers to victory. Laramore chipped in with eight points to go with a team-leading eight rebounds, while Hanley scored nine points on 4-6 shooting to go with five boards. Both players tied for the team lead with three assists.
After allowing 11 three-pointers in the first half of play, the Tiger defense held Centenary to just 3-10 shooting from beyond the arc in the final period. Trinity led 24-18 in points in the paint and held a dominating 34-5 edge in bench scoring for the game.
The Tigers will host Southwestern (TX) University for more SCAC action in one week, tipping off at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 9.