Trolls Push Trojans to Overtime

The Trolls nearly pulled off an upset victory at Trinity International University (Deerfield, Illinois), one of the top teams in the CCAC as well as a team receiving votes in the NAIA poll. Trinity trailed by ten points at the half, but took over the lead in the second period.  By the end of regulation the score was tied at 78-78 and the game moved in to overtime.  The extended play was very tight, but at the final buzzer the Trolls were one-point short with a 92-91 loss.

The first period of the game was one of ups and downs for the Trolls. They started out slowly and were down by 11 points after six minutes of play. Trinity scored the next 11 points to tie the game with 11:30 left. Trinity International answered with the next eight points to swing the lead in their favor only to have Juozas Balciunas hit two three-pointers to make it a two point game at 23-21 with 7:45 left. The final minutes went back to the Trojans who had a 42-32 lead at the break.

Trinity came out strong at the start of the second period and tied the score in the first four minutes. Tied again at 46-46 with 14:30 to play, the Trolls rallied off eight points for a 54-46 lead. With 7:35 to play Trinity was still on top by seven points. The Trojans made up the difference and the teams were deadlocked at 75-75. With 1:14 left the Trojans were ahead by one point until a free throw by Trey Johnson with 37 ticks left made it 78-78. TIU missed a trey on their next possession and the Trolls’ final attempt also came up short to push the game into overtime.

Each team had the lead in the overtime, but a three-pointer from the top of the key from Balciunas gave Trinity an 88-86 advantage.  The Trojans scored to tie the game, but the Trolls answered with a trey from the corner by Caleb Jonkman to make it 91-88 with 42 seconds left.  Over the next 15 seconds TIU connected on two free throws and TCC missed two to create a 91-90 score. With seven seconds left the Trojans got a lay-up to count to take the lead.  Trinity had the final few seconds, but their attempt did not connect.

For the game the Trolls shot .533 percent from the floor, including .621 in the second half. They were .520 percent from the arc with 13 treys and were .667 from the line. Trinity international was .410 percent from the field, .314 percent from the arc, and .591 percent from the line. The Trolls had 39 rebounds and the Trojans had 44. Jordan Perry ended with a double-double of 24 points and 13 rebounds. Balciunas had 22 points and six boards. Myles Birgans added 18 points and five rebounds and Johnson and Jonkman each added 10 points.

The Trolls continue conference play on January 11 in a home contest with Purdue University-Northwest at 7:30 pm.