ANGOLA, IND. -- The Trine University women's basketball team led the entire game against Otterbein University and came away with a 71-63 win against the Cardinals in non-conference action at the MTI Center in Angola, Ind.
Senior Brandi Dawson (Garrett, Ind./Garrett) led all players with 27 points and 10 rebounds to record her first double-double of the season. She shot 58.8 percent (10-of-17) from the field, including a perfect six-of-six at the free-throw line. Junior Katy Steers (Portage, Ind./Portage) joined Dawson in double figures in scoring with 10 points.
Trine (2-0) jumped out to a sizeable lead in the first quarter as the Thunder shot 64.3 percent (nine-of-14) overall and outpaced Otterbein (0-1), 25-12. Trine tallied the first seven points of the contest with five points coming off the hands of Dawson. The Cardinals later pulled to within a point, 9-8, at the 5:45 mark, but that would be as close as Otterbein got in the period as Trine ended the quarter with a 16-4 scoring run to lead by 13 points after the opening 10 minutes.
The second quarter saw Otterbein outscore Trine, 21-14, but the period began with a layup by senior Cassidy Williams (Archbold, Ohio/Archbold) that resulted in Trine's largest lead of the contest to that point of 15 points, 27-12, with 7:27 left in the half. Otterbein began to rally and narrowed the gap to single digits at the 3:39 mark with a score of 34-26. The Cardinals continued to chip away and found themselves down by just three poitns, 36-33, with 1:24 remaining. A free-throw by Trine freshman guard Tara Bieniewicz (Chesterfield, Mich./Dakota) and a pair of freebies by fellow freshman Sophia Kreag (Westfield, Ind./Westfield) ended the scoring in the frame and gave Trine a six-point lead at the break, 39-33.
Both teams shot 50 percent in period number three, but Trine would convert on twice as many shots as the visitors. Despite Otterbein making it a one-possession game in the opening minutes of the quarter, the Trine offense began to rebuild its earlier lead and regained a double-figure advantage with 4:19 to go after a three-point play by Dawson that made the score, 51-41. Dawson's three points were part of a larger 12-0 Trine run that ended the frame and put the Thunder out ahead by a more comfortable 17-point margin, 58-41, heading into the fourth quarter.
Otterbein would not go away quietly and in a complete reversal of the first quarter, this time the Cardinals shot above 60 percent from the field (nine-of-14) and held Trine to just 26.7 percent shooting (four-of-15). The hot shooting allowed Otterbein to outscore Trine, 22-13, overall for the period, including, 16-7, in the first 7:23 to make it a five-point game, 65-60, with 2:37 to go in regulation. Trine then increased the defensive pressure in the final minutes and held Otterbein to just three points for the remainder of the quarter, while netting six points of its own to end the contest and cap a 71-63 victory.
Trine will wrap-up its season-opening three-game homestand on Suday, Nov. 18 with a home game against DePauw University at the MTI Center. Tip-off is slated for 5 p.m.