ANGOLA, Ind.—The No. 18 Trine women's basketball team advanced to the championship game of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament after defeating Albion, 57-42, in the semifinals on Friday night in Hershey Hall.
With the victory, the Thunder continues on a nine-game win-streak. The team advances to the MIAA Tournament championship game for the second consecutive season. Trine improves to 23-2, while Albion falls to 18-8.
Hayley Martin (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb) led the Thunder with 18 points in 25 minutes. Martin added six rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Brandi Dawson (Garrett, Ind./Garrett) added 12 points with seven rebounds and a block. Cassidy Williams (Archbold, Ohio/Archbold) notched a season-high eight rebounds.
Albion was led by Oreyana Curry with 14 points. Emily Bernas added 10 points for the Britons. Three Britons players totaled five rebounds each.
The Thunder opened the game with Martin making a layup to take the lead, and Trine would hold the advantage for the rest of the game. The Thunder lengthened its advantage to 11 points by the end of the quarter with a 16-5 lead.
Albion came alive in the second and came within four points of Trine near the end. The Britons had the ball with one possession remaining on the clock. Curry was called for an offensive foul turning the ball over to Trine. Ashley Elliott (Scottsburg, Ind./Scottsburg) fed the ball up court to Montana Martin (Greenfield, Ind./Mount Vernon), who sunk a field goal at the buzzer. Albion outscored Trine, 17-12 in the quarter, but the Thunder held a 28-22 advantage heading into halftime.
Martin paced the Thunder with seven points, while Dawson added six points. Curry led Albion with 12 points in the first half.
Trine went on a nine-point run in the third to lengthen its lead to 13 points. Albion sunk a two-pointer as time ran out to come within 11 points.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Albion fought back to come within four points. The Thunder switched gears and went on a nine-point run to seal the victory.
The Thunder will take on the third seed Calvin for the championship at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in Hershey Hall. The winner receives an automatic-qualifying bid to the NCAA Tournament. Trine is seeking its first MIAA Tournament title and first NCAA Tournament bid.