Thunder Second Unit Comes Up Big As Trine Squashes Hornets

While All-MIAA senior guard Ian Jackson struggled from the field in a 6-for-19 performance, the Thunder (12-7, 5-3 MIAA) managed to pull out a fairly easy road win 63-51 over the Hornets (5-14, 2-6 MIAA) behind a fantastic bench performance. The Thunder bench outscored Kalamazoo’s 26-4 behind Nick Tatu (11 points), Dustin Hall (5 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds) and Todd Watkins (6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks).

After Kalamazoo took an early 4-0 lead, the teams kept trading buckets until midway through the first half when an Ian Jackson steal and dunk tied the game at 16. From there, both teams couldn’t buy a basket, going four minutes straight without any change in score.

Off a timeout with about five minutes left, the offense started to flow for Trine, as Jackson hit two jumpers in between a jumper and free throw for Scott Rogers to build the lead to 9, 25-16. Kalamazoo tried to cut the lead but managed to make it just seven at the half, primarily relying on Mark Ghafari (15 points) to get them back into the game.

Trine opened the second half with a Tarvis Malone three to open a 32-22 lead, but the pesty Hornets would hover around and not go away. After the Hornets cut the lead to five, five minutes in, it was back to nine, 51-42 midway through the second despite the efforts of Kalamazoo forward Adam Peters, who posted a monster 20 point, 10 rebound stat line for the game. That was the last gasp for the Hornets, as the Thunder slowly built up the lead to 13 due to Dustin Hall’s free throwing shooting and a Todd Watkins jumper in the final minute.

The Thunder return home Wednesday to face off against the Alma Scots at 8 p.m. in Ketner Sports Center.

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