By: BOBBY COZZIE
On Wednesday, the Titans’ men’s and women’s basketball teams defeated the Trolls of Trinity Christian College in back-to-back contests.
In the first game, featuring the women, both teams got out to hot starts and traded baskets early, with neither team able to establish themselves on the defensive side in the early goings of the game.
The Titans’ starting point guard, Paige Avery, did not dress, but everyone who played for the Titans contributed in some manner.
“We’ve got good depth,” said Titan’s Head Coach Steve Bruce. That depth helped the Titans begin to pull away late in the first half and enter the locker room up 42-32.
“We figured out, defensively, how to get better,” said Coach Bruce. “During that little stretch there we kicked it into gear offensively and got enough stops…going into halftime. What was best about us tonight was the beginning of the second half. I think the first seven minutes [The Trolls] scored maybe three points.”
The Titan’s defense forced the Trolls into 17 turnovers, and held them to just 25 percent shooting from beyond the arc and just 34 percent overall.
While the Titans committed 18 turnovers themselves, they used hot shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc and 45 percent overall to defeat the Trolls 68-52.
The win was the third in a row for the Titans, improving their record to 13-13 and 7-8 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC).
“We’re hitting our stride at the right time,” said Coach Bruce.
The second game, featuring the men, had much of the same story line as the women’s game. Both the Titans and the Trolls got out to hot offensive starts and traded baskets early on.
In the later minutes of the first half, the Titans amped up their defensive pressure and kept pushing the pace on offense to begin to take control of the game. The Titans men’s team also entered halftime up 10 points with the score at 46-36.
“The big thing was turnovers,” said Titan’s Head Coach Scott Cooper. “I’m not sure we stopped them a whole lot when we didn’t turn [the Trolls] over, but that gives us extra possessions. You get more shots than them and you can score more points.”
The Titans forced the Trolls into 18 turnovers, which led to 26 points for the Titans, who only committed 8 turnovers themselves.
The Titans were outshot by the Trolls percentage wise in the game, but the Titans hit 15 three-pointers and outscored the Trolls by eight at the free-throw line, and ultimately won the game by a score of 87-69.
The win moved the Titans to 15-10 on the season and 8-8 in the CCAC. The Titans men and women will next play at home on Saturday, Feb. 13, in the Student Activities Center when the teams will face the Tigers of Olivet Nazarene University. The women’s game is scheduled to tip off at 1 p.m. with the men’s game to immediately follow at 3 p.m.