Centre men fall 61-50 to Trinity in SCAC Championship
Centre's Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament run came to an end at the hands of Trinity as the Colonels fell 61-50 in the tournament's championship game Sunday in Birmingham, Ala.
Centre came in as champions of the previous thre tournaments, but after defeating Austin on Friday and ending Birmingham Southern's 43-game home winning streak in Saturday's semifinal, the Colonels' momentum finally ran out in Sunday's second half.
After a slow first half left Centre trailing 28-18 at halftime, the Colonels outscored Trinity 17-5 over the first 10 minutes of the second half to take a 35-33 lead on a layup by Collin Lopez (Louisville, Ky.).
Unfortunately for the Colonels, it was the last lead they would hold. Trinity's Zach Lambert almost singlehandedly helped his team pull away by making 3-pointers on three straight possessions and scoring his team's next 13 points. Centre managed just one field goal during that six-minute stretch, and by the time Trinity's Matt Feldman made a pair of free throws, the Colonels found themselves facing their biggest deficit of the game at 50-38 with 1:41 to play. The closest Centre would get the rest of the way was seven points on a layup by Greg Ross (Cincinnati, Ohio) in the final minute.
Centre only held the lead twice in the game, the first coming at 14-13 after a Josh Karsner (Frankfort, Ky.) 3-pointer in the first half. Trinity was able to build its 10-point halftime lead by scoring the next eight points while Centre went through a four-minute scoreless stretch.
Lambert went on to finish with 26 points to lead all scorers while Jeff Mullaney (Louisville, Ky.) topped Centre with 11. Ross added 10 points with nine rebounds while Lopez chipped in nine points and Karsner eight.
Overall, Trinity shot 39.6 percent (19-of-48) to Centre's 31 percent (18-of-58) and 35.7 percent (5-of-14) from outside to the Colonels' 23.8 percent (5-of-21). Trinity held a 37-36 edge on the boards and turned the ball over six times to Centre's eight.
The loss drops the Colonels' overall record on the year to 18-9 while Trinity moves to 20-8 and receives the SCAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.