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.