Alma, Mich. - The Alma College men's basketball team fell 87-86 to Trine University on Wednesday (Jan. 23) evening in a game that came down to the wire. Cole Kleiver (Williamston, Mich. / Williamston) attempted a half-court shot for the win as time expired, but it just missed off the left iron.
Alma led by nine at halftime and by as much as 14 in the second half before Trine began its comeback with an 18-3 run. The two teams traded the lead from there on out, with Trine taking a five-point lead with under two minutes to go. Two free throws and a layup brought the Scots to within one point with five seconds left, but that was as close as they would get.
All ten starters scored in double figures, led by Ryan Stevens (Lowell, Mich. / Lowell) for Alma (4-14, 3-4 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) and Myles Copeland for Trine (13-5, 6-1 MIAA), who each scored 19. Stevens added nine assists and four steals to his box score, while both Steven Harvey (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Forest Hills Eastern) and Brandon Rake (Whitehall, Mich. / Whitehall) posted double-doubles; Harvey with 15 points and 15 rebounds, and Rake with 16 points and 10 boards. Amari Hudson (Highland Park, Mich. / Detroit Edison Public School Academy) tallied six points, seven boards and three assists in 19 minutes off the bench.
The Scots held Trine to 47.5-percent shooting from the field, but the Thunder were dangerous from three-point range. They hit 58-percent from deep, as 14 of the team's 29 made field goals came from behind the arc.
How It Happened
- The game was close for the majority of the first half as neither team had more than a five-point lead for the first 18 minutes. Alma closed the half with a 12-3 run in the final 2:18 as five different Scots made five shots from the field. Alma held a 48-37 lead at the break.
- The Scots continued to keep their foot on the pedal, even after Trine pulled to within seven. Alma opened up a 14 point lead with 13:33 to go after a quick 8-0 run with threes from Harvey and Stevens and a jumper from Kleiver. It would be the largest lead by either team in the game.
- With 12:27 remaining, Rake was called for his fourth foul and was forced to the bench. Immediately thereafter, Trine scored 16 of the game's next 19 points to take a 71-70 lead with 8:40 left. The Thunder shot 4-of-6 from three-point range during the run, with Pete Smith and Langston Johnson each making two.
- There were five lead changes and four ties over the final 8:40. With the score tied at 77, Stevens nailed a three after an offensive rebound from Harvey to force a Trine timeout. Coming out of the break, Smith responded with a three to tie the game once more. Marcus Winters followed that up with a three of his own to give the Thunder the lead for good with 3:47 left. He hit another under the two-minute mark to give Trine an 87-82 lead.
- After a missed three from Kyle Woodruff (Grand Blanc, Mich. / Holly), Rake grabbed the offensive rebound, drew a foul, and hit both free throws to bring Alma back to within three with 1:09 remaining.
- On the Scots' next possession, Stevens couldn't hang and hit a contested layup and Alma was forced to foul Smith, who missed the front-end of a one-and-one. On the other end, Stevens hit a floater off the glass to get Alma to within one with five seconds left.
- Again, Alma was forced to foul, and again, Smith missed the front end of a one-and-one. Kleiver got the rebound and made it to half court before he was forced to shoot as time expired, but he missed off the left rim.
- This is the second time in four games all five Alma starters scored in double-figures.
- Steven Harvey notched his first career-double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds. His rebound total is also a career-high, as well as being the most rebounds in a game since Trevor Gernaat pulled down 17 against Olivet on Feb. 18, 2017. In addition, he made all three of his three-point attempts.
- Brandon Rake had the best statistical game of his career. Both his 16 points and 10 rebounds are career-highs, as is his seven field goals and 75-percent shooting percentage. As such, this was his first career double-double. He also tied his career-high in minutes in his second straight start.
- Amari Hudson tied a career-high with seven rebounds.
- The two teams had nine turnovers, each. Alma's nine turnovers are the fewest in its last four games and tied for the third-fewest its had all season.
- The Scots grabbed a season-high 15 offensive rebounds in the game, led by Harvey with seven.
- Eighty-six points are the second-most Alma has scored this season.
What He Said
"We weren't quite ready to win this game tonight. We're learning, little by little, how to finish, play with a lead, and hopefully win games. I'm very proud of our effort against a really talented, experienced and veteran team."
- Head Coach Sam Hargraves
Alma travels to Kalamazoo on Saturday (Jan. 26) to face the Hornets as the second half of conference play begins. The Scots beat Kalamazoo 74-61 at home on Jan. 2. Tip-off for Saturday's game is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.