MIAA Women's Basketball Semifinals Preview

MIAA Women's Basketball Semifinals Preview

ANGOLA, Ind.-- The Trine women's basketball team will face Calvin in the MIAA Semifinals Friday afternoon at Hope College's DeVos Fieldhouse.

The Thunder return to the MIAA Tournament for the first time since 2013 as they earned the No. 3 seed with a 10-6 record in conference play. They face the defending MIAA Tournament champion Knights, who went 14-2 in league play to earn the No. 2 seed. The winner of Friday's semifinal game advances to the MIAA Championship Saturday at Hope College's DeVos Fieldhouse. Tip-off of the semifinal matchup is slated for 1 p.m.

Trine carries a seven game winning-streak into Friday's tournament action. The Thunder have not lost in the month of February. A win Friday would advance Trine to the MIAA Championship for the first time since 2011. The Thunder have never won the MIAA Tournament title since joining the conference in 2004.

Calvin enters Friday's matchup riding a four-game winning-streak. The Knights' last loss came at the hands of Trine back on Feb. 6. Calvin is ranked 19th in the nation and has won either the MIAA regular season or tournament crown each of the last five years.

In the video below, head coach Ryan Gould talks about the 2015-16 season and Friday afternoon's matchup.

The first meeting of the season between the two teams belonged to Calvin as the Knights took home the 81-52 victory. Calvin shot 52 precent in the game and scored 31 points off 25 Trine turnovers.

The Thunder flipped the script in the second meeting to earn a 69-57 victory in Hershey Hall. Trine scored 24 points off 22 Knight turnovers, owned a 42-20 scoring edge in the paint and held Calvin to a 31 percent shooting effort from the field. The win was the team's first over the Knights since 2005.

Trine has hit more than 45 percent of its field goal attempts in the month of February. The Thunder have allowed just 43.7 points per game during its winning-streak. Calvin's 57 points against Trine in the Feb. 6 meeting between the two teams are the most points a team has scored against the Thunder during its winning-streak.

Hayley Martin (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb) finished the regular season as the MIAAs leading scorer in all games, averaging 15.7 points per contest. Brandi Dawson (Garrett, Ind./Garrett) is coming off a 23-point outing in a victory over Alma, while Taylor Cole (Mount Pleasant, Mich./Shepherd) has shot 50 percent or better from the field in the last seven games.

Calvin's Anna Timmer led the MIAA and ranked 13th in the nation in shooting 58.7 percent from the field. Point guard Abby Springer led the conference in both steals and assists. The Knights force 25 turnovers per game with their pressure defense and average nine made three-pointers per game.

This year is the first year the MIAA has held the conference tournament at one location. Saturday's championship game is slated for 5 p.m.