ANGOLA, IN — The Trine University men’s basketball team was able to defeat Kalamazoo College on the road on Wednesday, Feb. 16 to get back in the win column, 94-56.
Senior guard Bryce Williams, of Archbold, went on a shooting tear with 33 points on 11 made shots from three-point range. That ties the school record set by Pete Smith in the 2017-18 season. Williams knocked down eight field goals from distance in the first half and was able to sink three more in a 53-point second half by Trine.
“It was a great moment for my teammates and I,” Williams reflected postgame. “I’m proud to share the record with one of my favorite teammates in Pete Smith. They set me up, and all I had to do was knock them down.”
A 7-0 run spanning just 60 seconds gave Trine a 7-3 lead in the opening minutes of play. Brent Cox [Kendallville, Ind.] provided an early spark in the starting rotation with a made jump shot, then Williams made his first three-point field goal and Nick Bowman [Angola, Ind.] finished off the run with a lay-up.
Williams buried two more to bring the total to three makes in the first five minutes of play. A fourth make from distance with nine minutes left in the first allowed the Thunder to take a double-digit lead at 21-9. Three of the next four possessions ended with the same result to bring the tally to eight and blow the game open at 33-16.
Aiden Warzecha [Milford, Mich.] showed his defensive prowess all night long and that helped to set up shots in transition. He had steals on back-to-back possessions with three minutes remaining in the period, one of which led to an easy basket on the other end for the senior. In total, Warzecha had eight assists, five rebounds and five steals to lead the team in all three categories.
After hitting the locker room with a 41-21 halftime lead, Warzecha found Williams beyond the arc once again on the opening possession in the second half for his ninth made three-point field goal. Mitchell Geller [Huntington, Ind. / Huntington North] scored following a Hornet turnover to score the first five points of the period.
The threes weren’t just falling for Williams, as Brent Cox hit a pair as the second half wore on. Trine took a 55-38 lead on his second make six minutes in. Connor Jones [Danville, Ind.] found Warzecha a few possessions later to add his name to the charge for long distance calls. Bowman did the same midway through the second half.
With a tick over five minutes to go, Williams was re-entered into the contest and buried two more to tie the school record and give the Thunder a commanding 83-54 advantage. Nate Carbaugh [Fort Wayne North Side], Griffin Lorimer [Spring Lake, Mich.], Grant Pahl [Sylvania Southview] and Aidan Smylie [Franklin, Tenn. / Franklin] helped to seal the 94-56 win.
Williams’ 33 points is the most by a single player in a game this season and his 18 attempts from beyond the three-point line is the most in a game all-time. Brent Cox scored a season-high 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field. As a team, the Thunder had 25 assists on 36 made field goals while shooting 52.2% (36-for-69) from the field. The visitors pulled down 14 offensive rebounds and forced 31 turnovers, a season-high in both categories.
Trine bested Adrian 82-65 on the road Saturday to put a bow on the regular season. They head into tournament with a 17-8 overall record and 10-4 mark in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA).
Williams garners second team honors
This week the MIAA announced its all-conference awards and Williams was one of three Trine athletes receiving honors.
He was named second team All-MIAA for the second time in his career.
Williams has made 78 shots from beyond the arc this season, the fifth-most in the program’s NCAA D-III era. He has made the 15th most three-point field goals in NCAA D-III and led the MIAA as well. His 42.2% three-point percentage is second in the conference.
Williams wrapped up the regular season as the team’s second-leading scorer at 11.3 points per game.