ANGOLA, IND. -- Junior Montana Martin (Columbia City, Ind./Churubusco) equaled her career-high of 17 points to help the No. 6 nationally-ranked Trine University women's basketball team stay unbeaten with a 58-32 victory against Franklin College at Hershey Hall.
Montana Martin's 17 points were also a game-high as she shot 50.0 percent (five-of-10) overall with a pair of three-pointers and was a perfect five-of-five at the free-throw line. Fellow junior Brandi Dawson (Garrett, Ind./Garrett) was the other lone Thunder player in double figures with 12 points on a perfect six-of-six shooting.
Trine (6-0) got off to a quick start to begin the game with six straight points, but a jumper that was followed by a three-pointer by Franklin (0-2), put the Grizzlies within striking distance, 6-5, at the 6:35 mark of the first quarter. Franklin eventually took a one-point edge, 11-10, with just over three minutes remaining before Trine outscored Franklin, 8-2, that included back-to-back jumpers by Montana Martin to end the period, and led 18-13 after the first 10 minutes.
The Thunder never ended up trailing in the game again and a Dawson bucket to start period number two, put Trine ahead by seven points, 20-13. The home team went on to lead by as many as eight points in the quarter, 27-19, thanks to a three-point play by Montana Martin with 2:40 left in the half. The Grizzlies then tallied the final point of the half on a free-throw, but Trine still maintained a seven-point advantage at the intermission, 27-20.
The second half belonged to Trine as the Thunder held the Grizzlies to a combined 12 points, while scoring 31 points of their own. A layup by sophomore Katy Steers (Portage, Ind./Portage), followed by another jumper by Dawson, opened the scoring for the Thunder in the third quarter and gave Trine its first double-digit lead of the game of 11 points, 31-20, at the 8:13 mark. Leading by nine points with under five minutes to go, Trine pulled away with an 11-0 scoring run that ended in a three-point play by senior Ashley Elliott (Scottsburg, Ind./Scottsburg) to make the score, 46-26. The three Elliott points would be the final points of the quarter as the Thunder headed into the final period with their 20-point margin.
Trine posted its largest lead of the game at the 3:14 mark of the fourth quarter when Montana Martin connected on two free-throws to make the score 58-30. The final points of the contest were scored by Franklin, but the game was already well in hand as Trine went on to the 58-32 final.
The Thunder open Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play with a pair of road games beginning with a trip to Alma, Mich. to take on the Alma College Scots on Saturday, Dec. 2. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.