Men’s Basketball: Stellar Shooting Lifts Raiders Over Trine on First Day of Holiday Classic

D'Vontay Friga and Tommy Stenger (Photo by Rosalie Morrison)
D'Vontay Friga and Tommy Stenger (Photo by Rosalie Morrison)

ALLIANCE, Ohio -- Mount Union's men's basketball team (10-1) kicked off the Mount Union Holiday Classic with an impressive victory over Trine 105-66 Friday evening at the McPhearson Academic and Athletic Complex. The victory marked the best start for the Purple Raiders since the 2013-14 season.

Four different Purple Raiders finished with double-digit point totals as Mount Union was led by Tommy Stenger (North Canton/Hoover) who finished with 20 points, junior Nathan Bower-Malone (Stow) tallied 19 points, freshman Collen Gurley (Akron/Hoban) recorded 18 points while junior D'Vontay Friga (Cuyahoga Falls) chipped in with 13 points.

Trine (6-3) was led by Myles Copeland who finished with 17 points.

Mount Union jumped out to a quick 13-5 lead capped off by back-to-back three-point field goals from Stenger. A layup from Friga pushed the Purple Raider advantage to 10 with 10:34 left in the first half. The Thunder battled back to shrink the Mount Union lead to 28-21 forcing a Purple Raider timeout. Mount Union controlled a 14-point margin heading into the intermission break at 45-31.

The Purple Raiders shot 17-of-29 (58.6%) from the field and 7-of-14 (50%) from behind the three-point arc. Trine went 11-of-30 (36.7%) from the floor and 2-of-9 (22.2%) from long range.

Mount Union continued to click on all cylinders to start the second half as Bower-Malone scored seven straight points for the Purple Raiders. A 10-2 run for Mount Union extended the Purple Raider advantage to 63-40 with 15:42 left in regulation. A five-point swing from Gurley pushed the Purple Raider point margin to 39 with 7:55 left in the game. Mount Union cruised to a 105-66 victory.

Mount Union shot a spectacular 22-of-29 (75.9%) from the floor and 9-of-12 (75%) from beyond the arc. Trine finished 13-of-28 (46.4%) from the field and 1-of-7 (14.3%) from three-point range.

The hot shooting display for Mount Union set a season-high as the Purple Raiders finished 39-of-58 (67.2%) from the field.

The Purple Raiders conclude the Mount Union Holiday Classic on Saturday, December 29 facing Adrian at 3 p.m.