LEXINGTON, KY. -- The Trine University women's basketball team trailed by seven points at halftime, but then outscored its opponent, 47-24, in the second half to turn the earlier deficit into a 71-55 win against the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in its first game of the Transylvania (Ky.) University Tournament in Lexington, Ky.
Trine (10-1) shot 27.8 percent from the field in the first half (10-of-36), while UW-Whitewater (6-4) converted 46.2 percent of its overall attempts (12-of-26) which led to a seven-point deficit at the intermission.
The Warhawks never trailed in the first quarter despite the Thunder coming back to tie the game on three separate occasions that included a 10-10 score at the 5:43 mark when Whitewater went on an 8-0 scoring run to lead by as many as eight points in the period. A pair of free-throws by senior Brandi Dawson (Garrett, Ind./Garrett) and a jumper by fellow senior Cassidy Williams (Archbold, Ohio/Archbold) ended the scoring and cut the margin to four points, 18-14, after the first 10 minutes.
Whitewater continued to lead throughout the second quarter and eventually increased its lead to 11 points twice, including a 31-20 advantage with 1:40 left to go in the half. Again, Trine scored the final four points of the frame with a pair of freshmen in Tara Bieniewicz (Chesterfield, Mich./Dakota) and Kelsy Taylor (Louisville, Ky./New Albany) who scored to put the Thunder to within seven points, 31-24, at the break.
In the second half, the Trine offense picked up as the Thunder shot 65.3 percent (17-of-26) from the field and outscored the Warhawks, 47-24, in the final two quarters.
Trine made its move early by outscoring Whitewater, 21-9, in the third quarter alone. Dawson scored the first five points of the period to make it a one-possession game at the 8:25 mark with a score of 31-29. The Warhawks didn't surrender the lead until a 7-0 run by Trine put the Thunder ahead by three points, 38-35, with 4:44 to go in the quarter. Trine never trailed in the game again and began to pull away, leading by as many as six points following a three-pointer by Bieniewicz that made the score 45-39 en route to the Thunder having a 45-40 advantage after three quarters of play.
The fourth quarter saw Trine post its first double-digit lead with 6:24 to go in the game when Dawson connected on another jumper that capped a string of seven straight points to make the score 54-43. Whitewater looked like it might make a rally and pulled to within four points before another sizeable run by Trine, this time of nine consecutive points, put the game away as the Thunder led by 13 points, 65-52, with just under two minutes remaining. Trine maintained its double-figure lead the rest of the game and recorded its largest margin of the contest with a final score of 71-55.
Dawson led all scorers with a game-high 28 points on nine-of-20 shooting (45.0 percent), including going nine-of-10 (90.0 percent) at the free-throw line. She was also second in rebounding with seven boards.
Rounding out the high scorers were Williams who finished the game with 12 points and Bieniewicz who finished with 10 points.
In addition, junior Katy Steers (Portage, Ind./Portage) grabbed a game and career-high 10 rebounds.
Trine will conclude the two-day Transylvania Tournament tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 29) when it takes on host school Transylvania in a game that starts at 6 p.m.