NOTRE DAME, IND. -- The Trine University women's basketball team trailed after the first quarter to Saint Mary's (Ind.) College, but came back to defeat the Belles, 68-51, in Notre Dame, Ind. and sweep the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association regular-season series.
After a slow start in the first quarter that saw Trine (21-2, 13-1 MIAA) shoot just 36.4 percent (four-of-11) from the field and trail by a point after the first 10 minutes, the Thunder shot over 60.0 percent in each of the next three periods and outscored Saint Mary's, 57-39, to come away with a 68-51 overall victory.
Trine had two players score in double figures with junior Brandi Dawson (Garrett, Ind./Garrett) and senior Kayla Freeman (Battle Creek, Mich./Battle Creek Central) both scoring 12 points. The duo of senior Hayley Martin (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb) and junior Montana Martin (Columbia City, Ind./Churubusco) were the next highest scorers with eight points each.
Saint Mary's (6-16, 3-10 MIAA) led for the majority of the opening quarter and led by as many as four points, 12-8, with just under two minutes remaining in the period. The lone lead for Trine came early in the frame at the 7:18 mark when Freeman connected on a jumper that gave the Thunder a 4-2 edge. Trine gained some momentum, however, heading into the second quarter with one-of-two free-throws by freshman Shay Herbert (Pinckney, Mich./Pinckney) and a jumper by junior Shaely Duff (Greenfield, Ind./Mount Vernon) to end the scoring and made it a one-point game, 12-11, after the first period.
Both teams continued to play a competitive game until the seven minute mark of the second quarter when Trine took control with a 12-0 scoring run while trailing by a point that resulted in an 11-point advantage, 28-17, with 4:02 to go in the half. Both team's offenses then went cold as neither team scored again until with 54 seconds left when Saint Mary's connected on a jumper and ended the scoring making it a 28-20 game at the break.
Trine began the third quarter with a layup by junior Cassidy Williams (Archbold, Ohio/Archbold) to extend the margin back to 10 points and the Thunder led by double figures for almost the entire remainder of the quarter. Trine led by as many as 14 points on two occasions, including a 44-30 margin with 22 seconds to go following a free-throw by Montana Martin. The Belles scored the final points of the quarter, but Trine still lead by a sizeable, 44-32, advantage.
The fourth quarter saw the visitors outscore the home team, 14-6, in the first 6:14 to record their first 20-point lead of the game, 58-38, thanks to a freebie by senior Ashley Elliott (Scottsburg, Ind./Scottsburg). Trine matched its largest lead of the contest on two more occasions before the end of the game en route to winning by a final of 68-51.
Trine will conclude the regular season with its final two matchups at home beginning with a MIAA contest against Albion (Mich.) College on Saturday, Feb. 10. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the MTI Center.