ANGOLA, Ind.-- The Trine women's basketball team opened up the 2015-16 campaign with a 69-58 victory over Franklin Sunday afternoon in Hershey Hall.
The Thunder took over down the stretch, knocking down 11-of-13 from the field (84.6 percent) in the fourth quarter. Brandi Dawson (Garrett, Ind./Garrett) made a positive impact in her Trine regular-season debut, scoring a game-high 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Dawson was at her best with the game on the line as she scored 13 of those points in the final quarter. Kayle Comer scored 15 points to lead the Grizzlies. Trine opened the season 1-0, while Franklin dropped its season-opener and is 0-1.
Hayley Martin (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb) was another Thunder newcomer who made in impact as the sophomore scored 14 points and blocked three shots. Taylor Cole (Mount Pleasant, Mich./Shepherd) came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points. She added five steals on the defensive end. Trine shot 47 percent from the field (25-of-53) and held a 30-16 edge in points in the paint.
Katie Brewer scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Grizzlies. Franklin connected on 21-of-64 from the field (32.8 percent) and 5-of-17 from long range (29.4 percent).
The Thunder began to break things open as they faced a 41-40 deficit with 2:33 to play in the third quarter. A driving layup by Cole and a short jumper from Martin closed out the scoring to give Trine a three-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Thunder forced two turnovers and four missed shots to close out the third.
An Ashley Elliott (Scottsburg, Ind./Scottsburg) layup gave Trine a 46-41 advantage before a Comer bucket stopped the run. Elliott scored nine points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
That was when Dawson took over on the offensive end for the Thunder as she scored 11-straight points. Dawson showed off her athleticism on several driving layups and splashed in a three to give Trine its first double-digit lead of the game at 55-45 with 7:10 to play. She followed that up to extend the lead to 57-45, making it a 17-4 Thunder run over a span of 7:01.
The Grizzlies closed back within 59-52, but eight-straight from Trine put the game out of reach. Alivia Recker (Arlington, Ohio/Arlington), Elliott, Dawson and Martin scored points in the run to give the Thunder its biggest lead at 67-52 with 53 seconds left.
Recker was another key contributor off the bench for Trine. The senior scored nine points, grabbed six boards and dished out a pair of assists. Montana Martin (Columbia City, Ind./Churubusco) added six points in her debut.
The Thunder return to action Friday, Nov. 20 at a tournament hosted by Anderson (Ind.). Trine will face 25th-ranked Baldwin Wallace at 6 p.m.