Sophomore Zach Wagner scored a career-high 18 points on Thursday against Trinity Christian going 8-for-11 from the field
Sophomore Aaron Larson recorded his eighth double-double of 2013-14 with 25 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, three blocks, and two steals in the Tigers 85-78 win
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Trailing by as many as 11 points in the
second half to CCAC opponent, Trinity Christian College (Ill.), the Olivet
Nazarene University men’s basketball team clawed back and took a double-digit
lead before winning 85-78 on Thursday night, Jan. 30. Olivet had five Tigers in double
figures, an eighth double-double from Aaron
Larson (Tolono, Ill.), and a career-high 18 points from Zach Wagner (Roselle, Ill.) to prevail in a third straight win — and
eighth in their last 10. And the Tigers' win was Head Coach Ralph Hodge's 699th career win . He will go for his 700th on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 1.
Eight minutes into the game, the Tigers (10-11, 8-4) had scored only nine points, starting 4-for-12 and with two turnovers. They trailed by
eight (17-9), as the Trolls (6-16, 2-9) had already connected on five
three-pointers. Two three-pointers later and with 6:52 to play in the first
half, the Tigers had yet to reach 20 points. However, the worst point for the home team hadn't been reached yet, as Trinity Christian made two more from
behind the arc to make it 32-19 — their largest lead of the game. The Tigers got
back within six points with only 2:29 to play, but gave up eight of the final 12
points to trail by 10 at the half.
In the first half, Olivet shot 13-for-37 from the field (35.1
percent), 1-for-10 from the three-point line (10 percent) and 3-for-5 from the
free-throw line (60 percent). They outrebounded the Trolls 21-17. The Tigers
had 10 offensive rebounds and committed only two turnovers. Trinity Christian
shot 50 percent from the field, 75 percent from the three-point line and 0
percent from the free-throw line. The Trolls committed six first-half turnovers
and had three offensive rebounds.
After the break, the Tigers again trailed by double digits after Jared Jones’ sixth three-pointer, 43-32. Yet, the Tigers still
hung around, putting together a 10-3 run over four minutes that made it 46-42
and putting them back in the game for good. At the 12:42 mark, the Tigers trailed only 49-48,
but soon were down six — after failing to take the lead — with 7:41 still to play. With more than seven minutes to play, the Tigers were willing to win the game
on the defensive end, as they kept the Trolls' sharp-shooter Jones scoreless
from there, forcing him into three turnovers. By the 5:09 mark, the Tigers tied
the game at 66 and took the lead with a three-point play from Aaron Larson
(71-68). Larson followed it with another three-point play, and Zach Wagner
converted two scored in the final three minutes to stretch the lead to 10
(80-70), closing the deal and winning the game.
Sophomore Aaron Larson led the Tigers with 24 points on 9-for-15 shooting from the field and 7-for-7
from the free-throw line. He added 13 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and
two steals in 37 minutes. He now has eight double-doubles for the season and 12
in his career.
Junior Zach Wagner finished
with a career-high 18 points, making 8-of-11 field goals and went 2-for-5 from
free-throw line. He also finished with three rebounds and one assist in 33
Senior Tony Banks
(Peoria, Ill.) finished with 10 points on 2-for-5 shooting, 1-for-3 from the
three-point line and 5-for-11 from the free-throw line. He added five
rebounds, five assists and four steals in 35 minutes.
Farchmin (Mahomet, Ill.) finished with seven points on 3-for-9 shooting and
1-for-2 from the three-point line. He added two rebounds and three assists in 23
Off the bench, Matt
Ryan (San Diego, Calif.) finished with 10 points, going 3-for-7 from the
field and 4-for-6 from the free-throw line. He added three rebounds in 15
minutes. Freshman Tyler Crater (Hampshire, Ill.) added 11 points, one rebound, two assists and three steals.
The Tigers’ starting point guard, junior Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.), missed
his first game this season with a sprained ankle he suffered earlier in the
week during practice.
Jared Jones led Trinity Christian with 24 points on 8-for-15
shooting from the field and 8-for-11 from the three-point line. He added one rebound
and one assist in 36 minutes. Joe Hehir finished with 12 points on 4-for-10
shooting and 3-for-6 from the free-throw line, and had three rebounds in 25
minutes. Cody Rhorer added 10 points, four rebounds and two assists in 19
Overall, the Tigers shot 31-for-68 from the field (45.6 percent),
5-for-21 from the three-point line (23.8 percent) and 18-for-30 from the
free-throw line (60 percent). They were outrebounded by the Trolls 39-37, and
committed only four turnovers and totaled 22 assists, with 15 offensive
rebounds and 10 steals.
Trinity Christian shot 27-for-58 from the field (46.6
percent), 16-for-26 from beyond the arc (61.5 percent) and 8-for-14 from the
free-throw line (57.1 percent). The Trolls had 17 assists, 19 turnovers, 11
offensive rebounds and two steals.
ONU will be back in action Saturday, Feb. 1, on the road
against conference opponent Purdue University-Calumet (Ind.) at 3 p.m.