The Colorado College men’s basketball team toppled from the top of the SCAC rankings after a pair of losses this weekend. Friday night, a Trinity offense led by junior guard Matt Jones proved to be too much for the tigers (7-12, 6-2 SCAC). CC was defeated 54-63 by Trinity (8-10, 3-4 SCAC) in San Antonio, Tex.
The game began as a relatively even affair with both sides fighting to put points on the board. After junior guard Eric Houska sank a three at 8:11 to shrink Trinity’s lead to three at 15-12, the Tigers lost their magic. Cheered on by an energetic home crowd, Trinity spent the rest of the half on an 18-2 run, solidifying a lead they would never surrender. The half ended with Trinity holding a 14-33 lead.
In the second half, CC shook off their stagnant play with an aggressive offense, outscoring Trinity 40-30. After an 8-0 run with a minute left to bring the score to 58-52, momentum was rising. However, Trinity’s lead was too far out of reach and the game ended 54-63, in Trinity’s favor.
There was, however, good news for the Tigers as sophomore guard Jake Miller made his return to the court after being sidelined for 12 games by an injury sustained at UCCS in late November. Miller finished the game with three points and two steals during his 20 minutes on the court.
Houska stretched his impressive start into a team high 13-point, five-assist outing, while first-year forward Cooxooeii Black formed another vital offensive piece for CC, adding 13 points to the scoresheet. However, the Tigers as a whole suffered throughout the game with poor shooting, going only 33.9 percent overall and 5-19 from the perimeter.
Saturday night the Tigers traveled to Kerrville, Tex., to face off against first-place Schriener University (10-9, 7-1 SCAC). The Mountaineers set the pace from the start, claiming a quick lead and never looking back. As a team, Schreiner shot a blistering 63 percent in the first half and nearly 60 percent for the game. Just over eight minutes into the game, Schriener had built a 23-10 lead and the Tigers were never able to recover.
CC was able to reel the Mountaineers back to a nine point lead (41-32) by taking adavantage of 11 turnovers. In the second half, with just over 16 minutes to play, the Tigers brought the SU lead to 46-40 after Houska made a pair of free throws. However, the Mountaineers wouldn’t miss their shots and the Tigers never found the lead.
Junior forward John Hatch scored a team-high 26 points and Houska finshed with 17.
Schriener’s success was partly due to their deep bench. The Mountaineers scored 44 points off the bench compared to the Tigers’ 12. Junior forward Blake Kelley led the Mountaineers with 19 points, and senior forward Wes Miller wasn’t far behind with 14 points and five assists.
After two conference losses this weekend, the Tigers are in a three-way tie for second place in the SCAC with Southwestern University and defending champion Texas Lutheran University. Men’s basketball will be looking to find some momentum at its final home games this weekend against Centenary College and Austin College tonight and Sunday. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. against Centenary, and 1 p.m. against Austin College in Reid Arena.