Hartford, Conn. – Sophomore forward Shay Ajayi (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and first-year forward Ed Ogundeko (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored 17 points apiece to lead the Trinity College Bantams to an 84-45 win over the visiting University of Maine-Fort Kent Bengals in the opening round of the Trinity College Men's Basketball Holiday Invitational this evening in Oosting Gymnasium. Trinity improves to 7-3 with its third straight victory and will face the Vassar College Brewers in the finals tomorrow at noon. Maine-Fort Kent drops to 3-7 and will play the Wentworth Institute of Technology Leopards in the consolation game tomorrow at 2 p.m. Vassar downed Wentworth in the other first round game tonight, 60-54.
Trinity exploded to a 22-5 lead nine minutes into the game and led, 49-23, at the break after a last-second heave fell from beyond half court by sophomore guard Rick Naylor (Sudbury, Vt.) fell through the net as the horn sounded. Ajayi had 11 points and junior forward Alex Conaway (New Haven, Conn.) scored 10 of his 12 points in the opening half, as Trinity shot 60 percent from the field (21-for-35), outrebounded the Bengals, 20-11, and held the visitors to eight field goals in 26 tries (30.8 percent). The Bantams maintained at least a 25-point and led by more than 30 for the majority of the second half.
Ajayi also had a game-high 11 rebounds, while Ogundeko, Conaway, and junior co-captain center George Papadeas (Athens, Greece) added five boards, as Trinity finished the game with a 44-27 advantage on the glass. Sophomore guard Jaquann Starks (Hartford, Conn.) made all three of his long-range attempts and totaled 11 points and four assists. Junior guard James Givens (Fairfield, Maine) came off the bench to lead the Bengals with 13 points and added four rebounds, while rookie forward David Martinez (Valencia, Spain) scored 11 points, and freshman forward Mike McClung (Hill, Maine) pulled down a team-high six boards.