ANGOLA, IND. -- The Trine University women's basketball team prevailed, 51-31, against St. Mary's (Ind.) College in a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association game at the MTI Center.
St. Mary's (5-10, 3-4 MIAA) put up a tough fight against Trine (14-2, 6-1 MIAA) in the first quarter and trailed by only as many as four points in the frame. Senior Haley Martin (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb) scored the first seven points for Trine, but after the first 10 minutes, the home team led by only a basket, 10-8.
The Thunder began to put some distance between themselves and the Belles in period number two by outscoring the visitors, 18-4, in the period. The only points of the quarter for St. Mary's came at the free-throw line as the Belles went 0-14 from the field. Trine quickly jumped out to an 11-point advantage with a 9-0 scoring run in the first two minutes that was capped by a three-point play by junior Brandi Dawson (Garrett, Ind./Garrett) to make the score, 19-8. After a pair of Belle free-throws, Trine ended the half outscoring St. Mary's, 9-2, to extend out to its largest lead of the half of 16 points with a halftime score of 28-12.
The first points of the third quarter came on a pair of free-throws by sophomore Katy Steers (Portage, Ind./Portage) to make it a 30-12 ballgame within the opening minute of action. St. Mary's then connected on back-to-back baskets before a jumper by Dawson ignited an 11-2 scoring run in the final 7:21 to put the Thunder ahead by 23 points, 41-18, going into the fourth quarter.
Trine carried over its run by beginning the fourth period with a bucket by freshman Camille Lira (Murrieta, Calif./Rosary Academy) that increased the margin to 25 points, 43-18. Trine went on to lead by as many as 26 points, 50-24, thanks to a basket by senior Jade Abenth (Saginaw, Mich./Heritage) as the Thunder cruised to the 51-31 victory.
As a team, Trine shot 37.0 percent (20-of-54) overall and outrebounded St. Mary's, 51-38. The Thunder were led in scoring by Dawson who had a game-high 11 points on five-of-10 shooting (50.0 percent). Haley Martin was the other Trine player to score in double figures with 10 points and also grabbed a team-tying high seven rebounds. Lira equaled Hayley Martin's rebound total with seven boards of her own.
St. Mary's shot just 18.8 percent (12-of-64) for the game, including just 11.8 percent (two-of-17) from three-point range. The Belles had one player score in double figures in Giavanna Paradiso who finished with a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Trine returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 17 when it travels to Albion, Mich. to take on MIAA-foe Albion College. The game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.