HOLLAND, MICH. -- The Trine University women's basketball team advanced to the championship game of the 2018 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament with a 73-45 win against Albion (Mich.) College at DeVos Fieldhouse on the campus of Hope College in Holland, Mich.
Trine had an overall solid shooting effort converting a total of 54.7 percent (29-of-53) of its shots. The Thunder were led in scoring by the duo of senior Hayley Martin (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb) and junior Brandi Dawson (Garrett, Ind./Garrett) with 16 points each. Junior Cassidy Williams (Archbold, Ohio/Archbold) was third with 12 points and fellow junior Montana Martin (Columbia City, Ind./Churubusco) rounded out the high scorers with 10 points.
Albion (18-8) led by as many as three points on several instances until late in the first quarter when Trine (24-2) ended the last 3:33 with a 7-0 scoring run capped by a three-pointer by Williams as the Thunder went ahead on the scoreboard, 17-13, after the first 10 minutes.
Trine began to take control in the second quarter as the Thunder held the Britons to just seven points in the period. Albion stayed within striking distance until a layup by Dawson sparked a streak of nine straight points as part of a 13-1 overall run that put the Thunder up by 13 points, 30-17, at the 1:46 mark. Senior Jayde Abenth (Saginaw, Mich./Heritage) scored the final points of the half on a jumper as Trine maintained a 12-point advantage at the break, 32-20.
The third quarter saw the Trine lead extend out to as many as 20 points, 44-24, with 4:53 to go in the period following one-of-two free-throws by Hayley Martin. Albion narrowed the gap a bit before the end of the frame and got to within 14 points, 47-33, heading into the final quarter.
Trine ran away with the game in the fourth quarter outscoring Albion, 26-12, in the period. Trine began play with a 12-3 run to make it a 59-36 game with 6:42 to go. The Thunder continued to pull away and recorded their largest lead of the game of 29 points, 67-38, after a pair of free-throws by Montana Martin at the 2:47 mark and cruised to the 73-45 final to advance to the tournament title game.
Albion had one player score in double figures in Rain Hinton with 16 points.
Trine will take on the winner of the Hope vs. Calvin in the other semifinal game tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 24) for the MIAA Tournament Championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Tournament. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m at DeVos Fieldhouse.