BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – For the first time ever the Olivet Nazarene University men's basketball team started CCAC conference play in November. However, the Tigers took full advantage of the early opportunity to put a plus in the win column. On Wednesday night, Olivet traveled to Trinity International University (Ill.) and took down the Trojans 77-59.
The Tigers (2-0, 1-0) were matched from the get-go by TIU (2-1, 0-1). Through the first six and half minutes the Tigers only led 14-12. The Trojans put ONU on their heels in transition and the Tigers were a little sloppy handling the ball. However, it would get better for the purple and gold. Over the next seven minutes ONU outscored TIU 13-5 to take a 10-point lead. Eventually Olivet led by 12 with 3:56 remaining in the half when Matt Ryan (San Diego, Calif.) scored. Though the Trojans stormed back to make it a four-point game at the half.
In the first half, Olivet shot 13-for-33 from the field (33.3 percent), 1-for-9 from the three-point line (11.1 percent) and 4-for-5 from the free-throw line (80.0 percent). They outrebounded TIU 27-15 and committed six turnovers. TIU shot 31 percent from the field, 0 percent from the three-point line and 75 percent from the free-throw line. The Trojans committed four first-half turnovers.
The second half was very friendly to the Tigers as ONU immediately took a 19-point lead after only five and a half minutes of play. The Tigers made three three-pointers in the span of time. From there ONU took their largest lead of 21 points at the 10:33 mark when Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.) made a jumper and finished making free-throws.
Senior Jake Boyce (Lockport, Ill.) led the Tigers with 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting from the field and 2-for-3 shooting from the free-throw line. He also had 11 rebounds in 31 minutes. This is his third career double-double.
Ben Worner (Washington, Ill.) finished with 15 points on 4-for-11 shooting from the field, 2-for-5 shooting from the three-point line, and 5-for-5 from the free-throw line. He also had three rebounds and seven assists in 31 minutes.
Senior Torey Laferney (Peoria, Ill.) finished with 16 points on 5-for-10 shooting from the field, 3-for-5 from three-point line, and 3-for-3 from the free-throw line. He also had five rebounds in 25 minutes.
Freshman Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) finished with 15 points on 7-for-10 shooting, four rebounds and two assists in 32 minutes
Sophomore Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.) finished with nine points on 3-for-5 shooting from the field, and 3-for-4 from the free throw line. He also had three rebounds and five assists in 22 minutes.
Nathan Ball led TIU with 20 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the field and 4-for-4 shooting from the free-throw line. He added seven rebounds. Allen Lott finished with 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting and five rebounds. Dillon Wadsack added eight points and three assists, and Sam Salem finished with five points and four rebounds.
Overall, the Tigers shot 29-for-60 from the field (48.3 percent), 5-for-16 from the three-point line (31.3 percent) and 14-for-18 from the free-throw line (77.8 percent). They outrebounded TIU 42-26, committed only 14 turnovers and totaled 20 assists, seven steals and eight offensive rebounds.
TIU, meanwhile, shot 22-for-58 from the field (37.9 percent), 2-for-21 from beyond the arc (9.5 percent) and 13-for-18 from the free-throw line (72.2 percent). The Trojans had 14 assists, 11 turnovers, four offensive rebounds and nine steals.
Worner has made 126 career three-pointers, good for 16th all-time, 12 behind Jeff Park and Ryan Paxson (138) for 14th.
Olivet will be back on the road at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, in Chicago, Ill. against St. Xavier University (Ill.).