BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Senior sharpshooter Ben Worner (Washington, Ill.) played a game he will never forget. Exploding for a career-high 41 points, he led the Tigers to a 103-73 win over conference foe Trinity International University (Ill.) on Tuesday night. After struggling defensively during the previous game, ONU turned in a much better defensive effort in the second half, giving up only 29 points, not to mention a great offensive effort.
Throughout the first eight minutes of the half, the Tigers (8-9, 6-7) struggled to find much rhythm as TIU (9-9, 6-6) took a six-point after Josh Markum made a three-pointer. The Tigers' largest lead to that point was three (8-5), but they would continue to trail as the first half moved along. Eventually at the 7:43 mark, the Tigers tied the game and then took their first two-possession lead of the half when Matt Ryan (San Diego, Calif.) made two free-throws. However, the Trojans eventually tied the game three minutes later and took a one-point lead into halftime.
In the first half, Olivet shot 14-for-33 from the field (42.4 percent), 7-for-16 from the three-point line (43.8 percent) and 8-for-12 from the free-throw line (66.7 percent). They outrebounded the Trojans 25-20 and committed nine turnovers. TIU shot 42.1percent from the field, 47.1 percent from the three-point line and 57.1 percent from the free-throw line. The Trojans committed five first-half turnovers and had six offensive rebounds.
The second half was a much different story as the Tigers scored the first five points in only 35 seconds. Only four and a half minutes later, they led by nine and continued to extend the lead every minute. By the 10:57 mark, Olivet led by 20 after a 14-3 run and led by 24 with 8:55 to play, allowing the Trojans to score only 14 in the first 11 minutes of the second half. The Tiger’s largest lead was 30, which was the final score. Ben Worner scored 29 second half points, as many as TIU scored altogether.
Senior Ben Worner led the Tigers with a career-high 41 points on 16-for-23 shooting from the field, 7-for-13 from the three-point line, and 2-for-3 from the free-throw line. He added three rebounds and five steals in 29 minutes. Worner’s seven threes ties eight other Tigers, including himself, for the school record for three-pointers made in a game.
Sophomore Austin Davis (North Augusta, N.C.) finished with 18 points on 5-for-10 shooting, 5-for-8 from the three-point line, and 3-for-3 from the free-throw line. He added two rebounds and six assists in 28 minutes.
Freshman Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) finished with 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. He also had six rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes.
Off the bench, Zach Wagner (Roselle, Ill.) finished with 11 points and six rebounds. Matt Ryan had eight points and six rebounds, and Reid Farchmin (Mahomet, Ill.) had four points and nine rebounds.
Dillon Wadsack led the Trojans with 25 points on 10-for-16 shooting from the field, 1-for-3 from the three-point line, and 4-for-5 from the free-throw line. He added five rebounds and three assists in 34 minutes. Daniel Metzelfield finished with 13 points on 4-for-14 shooting and had three rebounds in 28 minutes. Josh Markum added nine points, and James Glass chipped in with seven points off the bench.
Overall, the Tigers shot 38-for-71 from the field (53.5 percent), 12-for-28 from the three-point line (42.9 percent) and 15-for-21 from the free-throw line (71.4 percent). They outrebounded TIU 52-31, committed 16 turnovers and totaled 19 assists, had 17 offensive rebounds, and 11 steals.
TIU shot 25-for-69 from the field (36.2 percent), 10-for-30 from beyond the arc (33.3 percent) and 13-for-17 from the free-throw line (76.5 percent). The Trojans had 15 assists, 15 turnovers, 10 offensive rebounds and six steals.
Worner has made 163 career three-pointers, good for 10th all-time. Worner is 13 behind Stan Chismark for ninth (176).
ONU will be back on the court on Thursday, January 10, at home against conference opponent No. 23 St. Xavier University (Ill.) starting at 7:30 p.m.