San Antonio – After nearly two weeks off, Trinity returned to the court after the holiday break with a 75-66 road loss to Willamette (OR) University on Friday night.
The Tigers fell behind 13-5 after the opening minutes of the first half, but rallied with a 12-2 run in the middle part of the period to take a 25-21 lead.
Trinity hit a last-second shot to close out the half and take a 36-28 lead after the first 20 minutes of action. The Tigers shot better than 43% in the period and held Willamette to under 33%, but the Bearcats hit 5-10 from three-point range to keep the game close.
The Tigers extended the lead to 14 points (46-32) in the first few minutes of the second period, but Willamette began its comeback in the final 11 minutes of play.
After a three-pointer put Trinity up 52-40 with 11:45 to go, but the Bearcats scored 12 unanswered points to tie the game with 7:00 remaining.
After the Tigers got a bucket to go back in front, Willamette effectively sealed the win with another 12-0 run to take a 64-54 lead with 2:56 to play.
The Tigers fought to the end and got within five points (69-64) in the final minute, but Willamette hit its final eight free throws to keep Trinity from completing its comeback.
Trinity made just nine field goals in the second half, shooting just over 32% from the floor and hit just 5-13 from distance. Willamette shot nearly 45% overall and also hit 7-14 three-pointers to go with 16-19 from the foul line to complete the comeback win.
The Tigers lost for the second time in the last three games, falling to 6-4 this season. Willamette improves its season record to 6-4.
Danny Rivara led three Trinity players in double figures with 12 points, hitting 4-9 from the field and 3-3 from the free throw line. He also picked up six rebounds and three blocks in the game.
Isaiah Specks and Nylan Yancy came off the bench with 10 points each for the only other Tigers to reach double digits. Specks led the team with eight rebounds, while Yancy was limited to just 17 minutes because of foul trouble.
Trinity wraps up the road trip with a game at George Fox (OR) University tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. (PST).