ANGOLA, Ind. - Baldwin Wallace University senior two-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference and Academic All-OAC guard Jay Battle (Gahanna/ Lincoln) and junior forward Drew Sova (Chagrin Falls/ Kenston) had career-best nights and led the Yellow Jackets to a 67-58 non-conference victory over Trine (Ind.) University in the MTI Center.
Battle had a career-best 30 points as he made 8 of 21 shots and added seven rebounds and three assists. Sova grabbed a career-high 18 boards and added three points. His rebound total was the most by a Yellow Jacket since Jake Fetherolf '18 snagged 18 against Marietta College last season.
Sophomore guard Luke Schaefer (Medina) also tied a career-high with nine points on a 3 of 4 shooting night from the field and added three free-throws and three rebounds.
Trine (5-2), with both losses coming to Ohio Athletic Conference schools, established an early lead before BW (5-4) battled back and tie the game at 11-11 on a three-point basket from junior forward Tyler Colombo (Strasburg/ Tuscarawas Central Catholic) with the assist from junior guard Zach Cebula (Brunswick) at the 14:07 mark. The next five points were scored by Colombo to give the Yellow Jackets an advantage. Trine answered back and tied the game at 19-19 and then took the lead at 21-19 after a successful trip to the charity stripe with 7:11 left in the half. The lead did not last more than 30 seconds as Battle drilled a trey to give BW a one point advantage lead at 25-24. The lead changed hands twice and with a one-point lead, BW went on an 8-2 run to close out the first half with a 32-25 lead.
The Thunder started the second half with the hot hand as they went on a 12-6 run to close the gap to one point again at 38-37 with 16:19 left to play. The Yellow Jackets held their lead as the two squads traded baskets, but the Thunder regained the lead at 49-47 after a three-pointer with 9:22 left. The basket caused BW Head Coach Tom Heil to call a timeout. The Yellow Jackets tied the game at 50-50 and added an 8-5 run to lead 58-55 and force a Trine timeout with 3:44 left in regulation. With 30 seconds left, Battle reached his career-high of 29 points with a pair of charity tosses with 50 seconds left. The final margin of 67-58 equalled BW's biggest lead of the stanza.
The Yellow Jackets shot 19 of 57 from the field and 8 of 25 from behind the arc, but it was their 21 of 24 effort from the foul line and a 44-28 rebounding advantage that made the biggest differences. Second chance points were also vital for BW as it outscored Trine, 21-3.
The Yellow Jackets will be back at home on Thursday December, 20 when they welcome Westminster (Pa.) College to Berea. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. in the Ursprung Gymnasium inside the Lou Higgins Center. BW then takes a 10-day break before playing at Bethany (W.Va.) College on Dec. 30 in its final non-OAC game.