ANGOLA, IND. -- The Trine University women's basketball team remained unbeaten in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play following a 59-42 win against Albion (Mich.) College at the MTI Center in Angola, Ind.
Albion entered the game, along with Trine, as one of the top shooting teams in the MIAA, but the Thunder held the Britons to just 28.6 percent shooting (16-of-56) for the game, including just 12.5 percent (two-of-16) from three-point range.
Senior guard Brandi Dawson (Garrett, Ind./Garrett) led all players in scoring with 19 points and shot 69.2 percent (nine-of-13) from the field. She also grabbed six rebounds. Freshman Tara Bieniewicz (Chesterfield, Mich./Dakota) also scored in double figures with 12 points to go along with a team-high seven rebounds.
Junior Katy Steers (Portage, Ind./Portage) helped set up the Trine offense with a game-high five assists.
Trine (15-2, 8-0 MIAA) opened the game with back-to-back jumpers by senior Montana Martin (Columbia City, Ind./Churubusco) and Steers to grab the early lead. Albion (13-3, 6-2 MIAA) came back and took a one-point lead, 7-6, at the 5:31 mark of the first quarter. But an ensuing 7-0 scoring run by the Thunder resulted in a six-point advantage, 13-7, for the home team with just over three minutes to go in the period. Following a bucket by the Britons, Trine freshman Kayla Wildman (Rockford, Mich./Rockford) scored the final points of the quarter with 2:15 left to send Trine into the next period leading by a score of 15-9.
The Wildman jumper to end the first frame turned out to be a streak of 12 unanswered points as the Thunder began the second period with 10 straight points to take a sizeable 18-point margin, 27-9, with 5:27 left in the half. Albion didn't score its first points of the quarter until the 5:06 mark and would have to try and play catch-up the rest of the way. The closest the Britons got was 13 points, 30-17, with a little over two minutes remaining, but a 5-0 mini run by Trine to end the half, extended the margin back out to 18 points with a halftime score of 35-17.
Albion scored the first basket of the third quarter, but would not score again until the 5:09 mark. During that span, Trine scored eight consecutive points that included a streak of three straight layups by Dawson, putting the home team out ahead by 24 points, 43-19, before the Britons connected on a three-pointer to end the streak. The triple by Albion sparked a 9-0 run as the Britons looked to rally and narrowed the gap to 15 points, 43-28, with 2:44 on the clock. A layup by Bieniewicz and one-of-two free-throws by Dawson made it an 18-point game, 46-28, but the final points went to Albion to make it a 46-30 game after three quarters of play.
The 16 points were the closest Albion got for the majority of the fourth quarter until late in the period when the Britons made it a 15-point margin with under a minute to go. But Trine already had the game secured and tallied the final points on a layup by freshman Rachel Stewart (Pekin, Ind./Eastern) as the Thunder went to win by the final of 59-42.
Trine will continue its homestand with a MIAA matchup against Alma (Mich.) College on Saturday, Jan. 19 at the MTI Center. The game will be part of a basketball doubleheader with the Thunder men's team. The women will tip-off against the Scots at 1 p.m., followed by the men against Kalamazoo (Mich.) College at 3 p.m.