Hartford, Conn. - Junior forward Maurice Horton (Detroit, Mich.) totaled game-highs of 28 points, 10 rebounds, and four steals to lead the visiting Worcester State College Lancers to a 67-59 win over the Trinity College Bantams in the opening round of the Trinity College Holiday Invitational Men's Basketball Tournament this evening at Oosting Gymnasium. Trinity, which had not played for 22 days, falls to 2-6 with its third loss in a row, while the Lancers improve to 5-4 with their second consecutive victory. Trinity will play in the consolation game tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 p.m. against Wheaton, while the Lancers advance to the championship game tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. against Bethany Lutheran.
Trinity led, 32-30, at the break thanks to 10 points by sophomore guard Ian Fels (Miami, Fla.), and went ahead, 36-30, early in the second stanza on four quick points by senior co-captain guard Paul Rowe (Brooklyn, N.Y.), before Worcester State used a 10-2 run to take a 40-38 lead on a pair of free throws by junior guard Elijah Sims (Worcester, Mass.). Trinity sophomore forward Luke MacDougall (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) tied the game at 40-40 with a pair from the charity stripe, but Horton answered with a put-back that ignited an 11-5 Lancer spurt and pushed the visitors back up by six at 51-45 with under seven minutes left to play.
Trinity closed to within a possession at 60-57 on a jumper by senior co-captain forward Aaron Westbrooks (Dublin, Ireland) at the two-minute mark, but, with Horton recently fouled out of the game, Sims converted a traditional three-point play and added two more from the foul line to preserve the win. Trinity, which led by seven points on three different occasions in the early going, shot 26.1 percent from the field and missed all 10 of its three-point tries in the second half, and committed an offensive foul and turned the ball over twice on its last three possessions of the game.
Fels, playing in his first game since last season due to an injury, led the Bantams with 13 points and added four rebounds and four assists off the bench. Rowe scored 12 points, while MacDougall and fellow sophomore Salah Abdo (Chelsea, Mass.) each notched eight boards and three steals for Trinity. Sims and junior forward Patrick Hamilton (Templeton, Mass.) scored 12 points for the Lancers.
In the late game, senior Andy Willis (North Mankato, Minn.) scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Bethany Lutheran Vikings to a 63-53 win over the Wheaton Lyons. The Vikings improve to 6-6 with the victory while the Lyons fall to 7-4 with the loss. The Vikings outscored the Lyons 28-14 in the first half of action and never looked back. Junior Jeff Zimmerman (Nicollet, Minn.) scored six points and notched 11 rebounds for the Vikings. Junior Anthony Coppola (Watertown, Mass.) scored 13 points and junior Ryan Sasso (Peabody, Mass.) added 11 points to lead the Lyons.