For the first time since 2006, the Trinity Bible College men’s basketball team won the North Central Region and advanced to the NCCAA DII Men’s National Tournament. The Lions got the #11 seed for the tournament and were matched up with the #6 seed Grace University from Omaha, Nebraska. The Lions took the twelve hour journey south and were looking to do something no other Trinity Bible College men’s basketball team has done; win a game in the national tournament. The 2006 Lions team went 0-2 and the 1998 Lions team went 0-3 and this 2012 team wanted to change that.
In their first round game against the #6 seed Grace University, the Lions came out fast and took an early lead and held on to it into halftime. They then would come out fast again in the second half and push the lead, but Grace would not go away as they would battle back to take an 57 to 58 lead over the Lions. However, the Lions dug down deep and answered Grace, taking back the lead and they would not look back. The Lions would hold on to win 74 to 69 over Grace completing the upset and winning Trinity Bible College’s first game in a national tournament for a men’s team.
In the second round the Lions advanced to face the #3 seed Ohio Christian University from Circleville, Ohio. The Lions would battle hard keeping the game close the whole first half and would find themselves down just two points 30 to 32 at the break. However, the Royals of Ohio Christian University caught fire behind the three point line and that was too much for the Lions. The Lions would fall to Ohio Christian 91 to 69.
The Lions would then face Hillsdale Freewill Baptist College in the third round, with the winner earning a chance to play for fifth place and the loser getting seventh place for the tournament. The Lions would find themselves in another battle with the Saints, with each team grabbing the lead several times in the first half. The Lions would find themselves down just one point at halftime 36 to 37. The second half would be much different as the Hillsdale Saints would put together a 13 to 4 run to start the second half taking the lead for good. The Lions were down as much as 21 points in the second half but would not quit and would fight back to get within as close as nine points but they could not get it closer as Hillsdale would hold on to win by 10 points 85 to 75 over the Lions.
The loss gave the Lions 7th place, the best finish for a Trinity Bible College men’s basketball team in a National Tournament. The Lions had one player named NCCAA DII Second Team All-American, junior guard Mikey Rosario from Fort Worth, TX. The Lions also had one player named NCCAA DII Scholar Athlete, junior guard John Michael Rohrbach from Aberdeen, SD. To be a Scholar Athlete the player must be a junior or senior and have an accumulative GPA (grade point average) of at least 3.4.
The Trinity Bible College Lions would like to say Thank You to all the fans, family, students, faculty, staff and alumni who supported, cheered for and watched their National Tournament journey.