ANGOLA, IND. -- The Trine University women's basketball team is two-and-a-half weeks away from its first game and will enter the 2018-19 season ranked in the top-10 in the D3hoops.com national preseason poll that was released today.
The Thunder were ranked ninth and were one of two Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association teams to crack the top-10. Hope (Mich.) College was picked third after capturing the MIAA Tournament Title last season in an overtime contest with Trine.
Trine is coming off of a record-setting 26 wins (26-4) in 2017-18, along with making an appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament "Sweet 16" for the first time in program history since joining the NCAA in only its second all-time trip to the NCAA postseason. Trine also shared the MIAA Regular-Season Championship, claiming its second overall MIAA title in back-to-back seasons.
Senior two-time All-American Brandi Dawson (Garrett, Ind./Garrett) returns to lead the Thunder this winter. Dawson led the team in scoring last year with a 14.6 points per game average. She also led the team, and the MIAA, in field goal shooting at an impressive 60.6 percent (183-of-302). She recorded four double-doubles in 2017-18 and scored in double figures in all but four games with seven games of 20 or more points and a season-high 29-point effort in the season-opener against Defiance (Ohio) College. In addition to her impressive shooting and scoring totals, Dawson recorded a team-high 185 total rebounds (52 offensive and 133 defensive) and was second in rebounding average at 6.2 boards per game. She also led the team in free-throws made (70) and free-throw attempts (95) to finish with a 73.7 shot percentage. Dawson was third in assists with 45 and was second in both blocked shots (16) and steals (34), defensively. Following the season, Dawson earned MIAA Offensive "Player of the Year" honors for the second straight year along with first-team All-MIAA honors and All-Great Lakes Region accolades.
Trine will tip-off the 2018-19 season against Denison (Ohio) University on Saturday, Nov. 10 at the MTI Center. The game is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.