MOBILE, Ala-- The University of Mobile men's basketball team defeated Trinity Baptist College 55-50 Monday evening to give head coach Joe Niland his 400th career victory.
This is Niland's 14th season at the University of Mobile, and 20th overall at the collegiate level. He boasts a 273-169 mark with the Rams and a 400-229 mark overall.
Chris Richardson led the Rams with 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting from 3-point range.
Charles Cooks led a pair of Eagles in double figures with 18 points.
Trinity out shot Mobile 39% to 38% from the floor and 58% (7-12) to 46% (13-28) from the charity stripe, while the Rams held a 35% (6-17) to 26% (5-19) edge from 3-point range. Mobile won the rebounding battle 39-30, and finished with a 14-6 edge on the offensive glass.
The opening half was closely contested, with nine lead changes. Trailing 19-20 with 6:02 left in the half, the Rams held the Eagles to three points the rest of the way to take a 25-23 lead into the half.
The Rams then opened the final half on a 7-0 run to build a nine-point lead, capped by a 3-pointer from Richardson. Another Richardson 3-pointer with 10:26 to play, briefly gave the team a double-digit lead at 41-31, but the Eagles scored six-straight to get back in the game as the Rams missed five-straight from the floor. After the Rams built a seven-point lead with 2:54 to play, the Eagles used a 6-2 run over the next 2:03 to pull within 51-48 as the Rams went 0-for-2 from the floor and 2-for-4 from the charity stripe. After a pair of free throw misses from the Rams with 46 seconds left, a deuce from Cooks brought Trinity within 51-50 with 23 seconds remaining. The Rams again missed a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left, but an offensive board by Kevin Calloway gave the team another chance, and Marcus Polnett knocked down a pair. Kwame Beard then iced the game with a pair of freebies with two seconds left after an Eagle turnover.
Mobile (13-10, 6-7) visits Loyola University Thursday at 7:30 pm.