Lakeland, Fla. – Xavier Perkins scored 21 points to lead Trinity Baptist College to the first-ever victory over Southeastern University, a NAIA scholarship school with 3,500 students. The Eagles improved to 4-0 while the Fire fell to 2-1.
SEU started off hot as they ran out to a 15-3 lead at the 14:02 mark thanks to three buckets from beyond the arc from Jordan Talley. But a three-point basket from the top of the key by Regan O’Rourke seemed to get the Eagles offense going, as TBC out-scored the Fire 13-5 over the next four minutes to draw within three points. Southeastern began another three-point barrage to open the lead back up to 12 points with two minutes to go in the half.
The final two minutes of the first half would foreshadow what was to come in the second, as turnovers and fouls allowed Trinity to climb back within three points going into the locker room at halftime.
The Eagles buckled down defensively and forced SEU into nine second half turnovers and held them to 28% shooting from the field. Trinity began to slowly build a lead that extended to 10 points on a pair of Corey Roth free throws with six minutes remaining. TBC kept Southeastern at bay down the stretch, behind a 16-22 second-half effort from the free throw line.
The Eagles offense produced a balanced attack as four players scored in double figures. In addition to Perkins, Corey Roth added 14 points to go along with 4 assists and 3 steals, Regan O’Rourke was 3-7 from three on his way to 11 points, and Charles Cooks came off the bench to score 10 points. Darrius Jones provided a spark with 8 points, 2 steals and a key charge late in the game that seemed to douse the Fire for good.
Trinity Baptist is in action again on Friday when they travel to NCAA Division 1 Savannah State University (defending MEAC Champions) to play in the 6,000 seat Tiger Arena. Tip-off is at 8 p.m.