ADRIAN, MICH. -- The Trine University women's basketball team captured its ninth-straight victory, and 17th of its last 18 games, with an 84-53 win against Adrian (Mich.) College in a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association matchup in Adrian, Mich.
Trine (19-2, 12-0 MIAA) began the game with six unanswered points on a three-pointer by junior Katy Steers (Portage, Ind./Portage), followed by a layup and one-of-two free-throws by senior Brandi Dawson (Garrett, Ind./Garrett). Adrian (9-12, 5-7 MIAA) never led in the game, but pulled to within a point after the hot start by the Thunder with a score of 7-6 at the 2:21 mark of the first quarter. A free-throw by senior Cassidy Williams (Archbold, Ohio/Archbold) and a triple by freshman Tara Bieniewicz (Chesterfield, Mich./Dakota) gave Trine some breathing room with a five-point advantage en route to maintaining a three-point edge after the first 10 minutes with a score of 11-8.
In similiar fashion to the first quarter, Trine opened the second period with a quick scoring run, tallying seven straight points to record its first double-digit lead of the game following a layup by freshman Kayla Wildman (Rockford, Mich./Rockford) off of a Bieniewicz steal that made it an 18-8 ball game. A 9-0 scoring run late in the quarter resulted in Trine's largest lead of the first half of 16 points which came on a layup by senior Shaely Duff (Greenfield, Ind./Mount Vernon) with 1:22 remaining before halftime. The Bulldogs recorded the final points of the half, but Trine still had a sizeable 14-point advantage at the intermission, 33-19.
Trine continued to increase its lead in the third quarter and reached the 20-point plateau at the 6:49 mark when Dawson connected on a jumper to make the score, 42-22. Just under a minute to go in the frame, one-of-two free-throws by sophomore Paige Reid (Grand Blanc, Mich./Holly) gave the Thunder a 30-point lead, 63-33, before a three-pointer by Adrian to cap the scoring made it a 63-36 game heading into the final period.
Early in the fourth quarter, Trine tallied its largest lead of the game of 32 points three times, including a 73-43 margin after a layup by Steers with 6:24 to go in the game. Adrian then went on an 8-0 run to narrow the gap to 22 points, 73-51, but a tre by senior Montana Martin (Columbia City, Ind./Churubusco) and a bucket by Dawson pushed the lead back out to 27 points, 78-51, with 3:32 remaining. Following a pair of freebies by the Bulldogs, the Thunder scored the final six points of the contest on their way to a 31-point victory by a final of 84-53.
Williams led all scorers with 14 points, including scoring nine of those points in the first half. She scored most of her points at the free-throw line where she finished seven-of-eight overall (87.5 percent), in addition to going three-of-four (75.0 percent) from the floor. She was joined in double figures in scoring by Duff who finished with a career and season-tying high 13 points and Dawson who finished with 12 points.
Martin pulled down a team-best six rebounds to go along with six points and Williams led all players with five assists.
Defensively, Bieniewicz had a game-high four steals to round out the top performances.
Trine will host Olivet (Mich.) College on Monday, Feb. 4 in a rescheduled game from earlier in the week at the MTI Center. The MIAA matchup is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.