Trinity Defeats Olivet Nazarene

The first win of the season for the Trolls was a good, conference victory at home over Olivet Nazarene University (Bourbonnais, Illinois).  The team took a two-point half-time lead and came away with a 92-87 final victory.  It was only the third time ever in the history of the men’s basketball program that Trinity has defeated Olivet Nazarene.  Previous to this contest, the Trolls had lost the last nine match-ups with the Tigers. Their last win was in December of 2008.

The Trolls were ready to play and jumped to an 11-1 start in the opening four minutes. Olivet Nazarene settled in and with just less than 10 minutes left in the half they tied the game. The score was tied three more times in the half, but a lay-up by Caleb Jonkman in the closing seconds gave the Trolls the 42-40 half-time lead.

Trinity surged ahead by as many as 11 points early in the second period and continued to hold the lead through most of the half.  Midway through the period the Trolls’ lead was 68-64. Olivet Nazarene tied the score a couple of times, but the Trolls responded each time to regain the lead.  

With 1:20 to play a dunk by Jordan Perry made the gap 85-78. The Tigers cut into that lead and pulled to within three at 87-84 with 31 seconds left. Each team gained their next point on the free throw line to make it 88-85. Jonkman made it a two-possession game when he hit two charity throws with nine seconds left. The Tigers converted on their attempt to cut it back to three at 90-87, but the Trolls closed the door on a final lay-in by Trey Johnson.

The Trolls ended the game with a .559 field goal percentage while keeping Olivet Nazarene to .413 percent. Trinity hit 13-of-30 three-pointers and was also 13-of-15 from the line.  Jonkman connected on five treys and led the team with a total of 23 points. He also had four assists. Perry had 20 points and eight rebounds. Juozas Balciunas scored 16 points and handed out seven assists and Myles Birgans added 15 points.

The team will play in two exhibition games this weekend. On November 18 they are at Grand Valley State University at 8 pm EST and on November 19 they play at the University of Illinois-Chicago at 7 pm.