HOLLAND, MICH. -- In the first of two regular-season meetings, round one went in favor of Trine University as the Thunder defeated No. 5 nationally-ranked Hope (Mich.) College, 73-61, in a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association game in Holland, Mich.
The Trine defense held Hope to 35.4 percent shooting (23-of-65) for the game, including just 22.7 percent (five-of-22) from three-point range. The Thunder shot 50.9 percent (28-of-55) overall and 44.4 percent (eight-of-18) from behind the arc.
Senior Brandi Dawson (Garrett, Ind./Garrett) led all scorers with 21 points on 64.3 percent (nine-of-14) shooting. Fellow seniors Montana Martin (Columbia City, Ind./Churubusco) and Cassidy Williams (Archbold, Ohio/Archbold) also scored in double figures with Martin scoring 11 points and Williams added 10 points.
Trine (11-2, 4-0 MIAA) got off to a quick start by scoring the first seven points of the contest. The Thunder equalled their seven-point advantage at the 4:21 mark of the first quarter when Hope (11-2, 3-1 MIAA) scored eight straight points to take a one-point lead, 14-13, with just under three minutes remaining in the period. Trine regained the lead with consecutive jumpers by Dawson and freshman Kelsy Taylor (Louisville, Ky./New Albany), but a bucket by the Flying Dutch to end the scoring in the quarter, made it a 17-16 game after the first 10 minutes.
In the second quarter, Trine put some distance between it and the home team as the Thunder outscored the Dutch, 22-11, for the period. Trine reached its first double-digit lead with 2:29 to go in the half when senior Shaely Duff (Greenfield, Ind./Mount Vernon) connected on a three-pointer that gave the visitors a 12-point lead, 34-22. The Thunder went on to lead by as many as 13 points in the quarter en route to having a 39-27 advantage at the intermission.
The second half began with Trine going on a 10-2 scoring run that padded the margin to 20 points, 49-29, at the 7:56 mark of the third quarter following a triple by Williams. Late in the period, Trine recorded its largest lead of the game of 25 points on a layup by Williams that made it a 64-39 game with 1:42 to go. The final points were scored by Hope, but the Thunder still led by a sizeable 21-point advantage, 64-43, heading into the fourth quarter.
Hope looked to start a rally in the final quarter and outscored Trine, 18-9, but the large lead that the Thunder built would be all the visitors needed. The Dutch got to within 14 points several times throughout the period, but that was as close as Hope would get until the very end of the game when it scored the final points of the contest with a three-pointer as Trine went on to claim the 73-61 final.
Trine will remain on the road and will travel to Olivet, Mich. to take on Olivet College in a MIAA contest on Saturday, Jan. 5. The game is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.