ALBION, MICH. -- Junior Brandi Dawson (Garrett, Ind./Garrett) scored 22 points to lead all scorers and the Trine University women's basketball team to a 67-50 win against Albion (Mich.) College in a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association game in Albion, Mich.
Following an even first half with both teams tied at 28-28, Trine outscored Albion, 39-22, in the second half, including holding the Britons to just five points in the fourth quarter alone, to come away with the 17-point victory.
Dawson was the lone Thunder player to score in double figures with her game-high 22 points on 11-of-13 shooting (84.6 percent). She also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. The next highest scorer for Trine was senior Hayley Martin (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb) with nine points, to go along with six boards, followed by fellow senior Kayla Freeman (Battle Creek, Mich./Battle Creek Central) with eight points.
Overall, Trine shot well from the field at 52.8 percent (28-of-53), but struggled from three-point range, shooting just 13.3 percent (two-of-15). The Thunder helped negate the rough shooting from deep by going nine-of-11 (81.8 percent) at the free-throw line.
Albion (11-5, 5-3 MIAA) looked for the possible upset early, jumping out to a quick four-point lead, 6-4, on its way to boasting a six-point advantage, 14-8, with just over three minutes to go in the first quarter. Trine (15-2, 7-1 MIAA) rallied with the final six points of the frame on jumpers by junior Shelby Oldham (Greenfield, Ind./Greenfield Central), Freeman, and a layup by junior Montana Martin (Columbia City, Ind./Churubusco) to tie the game at 14-14 after the first 10 minutes.
The Britons began the second quarter in similar fashion as the first with an opening three-pointer to regain the lead and extended the margin to five points on its next offensive trip down the floor to make it a 19-14 game. Dawson later scored on a layup that resulted in a 10-0 scoring run to swing momentum over to the Thunder who took a 24-19 lead with 3:09 remaining in the half. This time, Albion mounted a rally to end the period and outscored Trine, 9-4, in the final minutes to knot the score at 28-28 heading into the locker rooms.
Trine came out of the break to score the first five points of the third quarter that began with a three-point play by Haley Martin. The Thunder led throughout the period, despite the Britons getting to within a point, 41-40, at the 5:33 mark. Another jumper by Dawson, followed by five consecutive points by Montana Martin, improved the Trine lead to a more comfortable eight points, 48-40, with 3:15 left. Freeman scored the final points for the visitors with a pair of free-throws as Albion edged to within five points, 50-45, heading into the fourth quarter.
Albion missed its first five shots of the fourth quarter and turned the ball over once as Trine added to its lead with 13 unanswered points to pull away to an 18-point advantage, 63-45, following a layup by junior Cassidy Williams (Archbold, Ohio/Archbold) with 5:36 remaining. After an ensuing layup by the Britons, a pair of free-throws by Williams equaled Trine's largest lead of the game of 18 points, 65-47, and Albion was held to just three points in the final five minutes as the Thunder went on to the 67-50 final.
Albion shot 37.0 percent (17-of-46) from the floor and 35.0 percent (seven-of-20) from three-point range. The Britons had two players score in double figures, led by Brittany Leutz with 15 points.
Trine will go for a fifth-straight victory when it hosts Alma (Mich.) College in a MIAA game at the MTI Center on Saturday, Jan. 20. The two teams are scheduled to square-off at 3 p.m.