PITTSBURGH, Pa.-- Trine raced out to an early lead and never trailed as the Thunder defeated previously-unbeaten Carnegie Mellon, 62-47 in the championship game of the Carnegie Mellon DoubleTree Invitational.
The Thunder opened the game on a 14-2 run and later used a 15-4 surge to pull away after the Tartans had fought their way back into the contest. Jared Holmquist (Reed City, Mich./Reed City) notched his third double-double of the season to lead the way, scoring 23 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Holmquist became the program's leader in rebounds in the Division III era (2004-present) and moved into seventh in team history with 563 career boards. Trine improved to 4-1 with the victory. Carnegie Mellon fell to 4-1.
Will Dixon (Indianapolis, Ind./Zionsville) added 21 points and four assists for the Thunder. Dixon averaged 25.5 points in the two games in Pittsburgh. Dixon was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament for his work in Trine's victories over Chatham and the Tartans.
The efforts of Holmquist and Ellis Cummings (Ottawa Hills, Ohio/Ottawa Hills) on the glass helped the Thunder finish plus-eight in the rebounding category. Cummings finished with a career-high 16 rebounds. The Tartans entered this weekend's tournament outrebounding their opponents by 14.5 boards per game. Trine also outscored Carnegie Mellon 28-16 in the paint.
Holmquist and Cummings were each named to the all-tournament team. Holmquist averaged 19.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in the two games. Cummings added 8.5 points and 14 rebounds per contest.
Carnegie Mellon was led by Jack Serbin, who scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Serbin entered the tournament averaging over 25 points per game on 47 percent shooting, but a tight defensive effort by the Thunder kept Serbin to just a 6-of-18 effort from the field. CM shot a season-low 30.8 percent from the field (16-of-52) and committed 14 turnovers.
The Thunder held the Tartans to just one field goal over the first 7:35 as Trine built its 14-2 lead. Holmquist accounted for six of those points.
Carnegie Mellon had a run however, as the Tartans were able to fight back to tie the score at 24-apiece with 2:40 to play in the first half. Back-to-back buckets by Holmquist restored the Thunder lead. Another layup by Holmquist, a dunk by Cummings and a jumper by Dixon helped push the halftime lead back to 34-29.
The Tartans cut the Trine lead to three immediately to open the second half, but a 15-4 surge over the next eight minutes gave the Thunder control the rest of the way. Trine's defense held Carnegie Mellon to 1-of-8 shooting and forced four turnovers during that stretch. A Kyle Dodson (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) three pushed the score to 49-35 with 10:51 to play. The Thunder lead would not shrink below 10 the rest of the way.
Trine gets a nine-day respite from game action before returning to the hardwood Wednesday, Dec. 9 at Anderson. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.