The Trinity Lions Men’s basketball team has played a grueling schedule to start off their second semester playing ten games in just 16 days and it doesn’t slow down from there as January ends. The Lions have four more games over the next six days. They are coming off a weekend match up against NIAC conference foe St. Cloud Technical and Community College Cyclones. The Lions would split the match up, losing Friday night 82 to 79 to the Cyclones and winning on Saturday 90 to 87.
Friday night’s game started off as a back and forth battle with three lead changes and three ties in the first ten minutes of the game. The Cyclones would grab the lead 21 to 20 over the Lions with nine minutes left in the first half and not relinquish it. The Lions would get down by as many as 18 points in the first half and would be down 12, 48 to 36 to the Cyclones at halftime. The Lions would then use full court pressure defense to battle back from 18 points in the second half, all the way to just a one point deficit 79 to 80. The Lions would foul with 11 seconds to go and St. Cloud would make both free throws giving them a three point lead 82 to 79. The Lions would miss a last second three point attempt to tie and lose 79 to 82. It was the Lions first NIAC conference loss on the season. Leading the Lions in the game was sophomore guard AJ Anthony’s double-double of points and steals with 27 points on 10 of 15 shooting, 4/5 on 3’s and 10 steals. Joining AJ in double figures was junior guard Mikey Rosario with 22 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds, freshman forward Barry Bighorn with 12 points and 7 rebounds and freshman center Nick Lentz with 10 points and 4 rebounds.
The match up on Saturday proved to be a lot closer of a game for all 40 minutes. The Lions would pick up where the left off on Friday night, using full court pressure to build the game’s biggest lead of 13 points, 32 to 19 with nine minutes left in the first half. The Cyclones would close the gap to just 8 points at halftime as the Lions led 47 to 39 at the break. The two teams would battle for the whole second half with the Cyclones finally tying the game at 75 all with five minutes to play. The Lions would get the lead back shortly after and hold on to win by three 90 to 87. The Lions were led by junior guard Mikey Rosario who had 30 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. The only other Lion player in double figures was sophomore guard AJ Anthony who had 18 points, 7 steals, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
The win moves the Lions to 10-12 on the season, with seven games left. The Lions have four games this week, play Monday night on the road at United Tribes Technical College, Tuesday night at home against University of Minnesota-Morris, Friday night at Dakota State College and Saturday at regional opponent Faith Baptist Bible College.