Seguin, Texas – Trinity's men's basketball team scored a 65-63 upset win over Centenary (LA) College in the quarterfinals of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament on Friday night.
The game started slowly for both teams, but a 6-0 run by the Tigers put the #6 seed ahead 11-5 over the third-seeded Gents.
Centenary kept the game close but Trinity never gave up the lead in the first period. The Tigers made a late push as the opening half came to a close, taking its largest lead of the game at 32-24 with 1:41 remaining until halftime. Trinity wound up with a 34-27 halftime advantage.
After Trinity scored the opening point of the second half to go back up by eight, Centenary rattled off eight straight points to tie the game 35-35 with 17:35 to play.
The teams went back and forth over the next several minutes, but the Tigers never fell behind until Centenary hit a three-pointer with 7:47 to go that made it a 53-52 game.
After another bucket by the Gents made it a three-point game, Trinity got a free throw from Jordan Lippman and a go-ahead three-pointer from Carter Laramore to put the Tigers in front 56-55 with just over five minutes left.
Centenary answered with five straight points to take their largest lead of the game at 60-56, but Lippman hit a three-pointer just over a minute later to trim the lead back to one point with 2:31 remaining.
After a Centenary turnover, the two teams traded buckets and the lead on the next two possessions, leaving the Gents leading 62-61 with 48 seconds to play.
Danny Rivara scored on a layup with 22 seconds left that put Trinity in front, and Centenary missed on a potential go-ahead three-pointer just seconds later.
Lippman calmly hit the ensuring free throws to put the Tigers up 65-62 with seconds to play, and Trinity fouled to put Centenary on the line. The Gents made the first and missed the second intentionally to try and tie the game, but Rivara came down with the rebound and was fouled immediately.
After missing the first foul shot, Rivara made the second, but Trinity was called for a lane violation to take the point off the board and leave the game 65-63 in favor of the Tigers.
Centenary drove the length of the floor in the waning seconds, but a running jumper that would have tied the game bounced off the backboard as time expired to allow Trinity to escape with the win.
The Tigers improved to 7-19 this season with the win, while the Gents fell to 13-13 overall.
Trinity swept Centenary in all three meetings during the year, winning by a total of nine points in the wins. The Tigers came into the season having lost six consecutive games in the series, including the last time the teams met in the conference tournament in 2015-16.
Danny Rivara led the Tigers with 20 points on 8-12 shooting in 25 minutes off the bench, pulling down five rebounds to go with three blocked shots. The 20 points also makes Rivara the 26th player in school history to reach 1,000 points for a career.
Trinity's defense held Centenary to just 34.3% shooting in the game, including 8-28 (28.6%) from beyond the arc.
Trinity advances to Saturday's SCAC Semifinal game and will face off against #2 seed and tournament host Texas Lutheran University at 7:00 p.m.