ALBION, MI - The Trine University women's basketball team defeated Albion College, 63-55, in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and regular-season finale in Albion, Mich.
Trine (12-2, 6-1 MIAA) fell behind early as Albion (7-5, 5-2 MIAA) scored the first five points of the contest. But a three-pointer by junior Tara Bieniewicz and a layup by junior Kaylee Argyle evened the score at 5-5 with just under four minutes remaining in the first quarter. After an Albion jumper gave the Britons a two-point advantage, Kaylee Argyle connected on a triple which was followed by a layup by sophomore Sam Underhill and gave the Thunder their first lead of the contest by a 10-7 margin at the 2:21 mark. Still leading by three points late in the period, Trine relinquished the lead down the stretch as Albion tallied six unanswered points in the final 1:14 to grab a 15-12 lead after the first quarter.
A triple by Trine's Shay Herbert to start the scoring in period number two evened the game at 15-15 and was the start of a 12-2 scoring run by the Thunder which resulted in a six-point lead, 23-17, with 4:06 to go in the half following another basket by Herbert. The Britons ended the second quarter in similar fashion as the first by outscoring Trine, 7-0, in the final three minutes to move back ahead on the scoreboard at halftime, 26-25.
The difference in the game came in the third quarter as Trine outscored Albion, 21-12. Albion started the period off with a three-pointer to increase the lead to four points as part of a larger 8-3 run to lead by six points, 34-28, with 5:59 left. A three-pointer by Bieniewicz then sparked a string of nine straight points for Trine as the Thunder took a 37-34 advantage at the 2:53 mark. Trine never relinquished the lead and later took control thanks to a 7-0 run to end the quarter which was capped by a three-pointer by Herbert to send Trine into the fourth quarter leading, 46-38.
Trine's lead increased to 10 points two times in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, but the Britons pulled to within five points, 50-45, nearing the midway point of the period at the 5:45 mark. The Thunder then answered with five straight points of their own on a layup by junior Kelsy Taylor and a tre from Bieniewicz to regain a 10-point margin, 55-45, with 4:20 to play. The five-point "swings" continued as Albion pulled back to within five points before Trine put the game away at the free-throw line as the Thunder's final eight points all came at the charity stripe. In the final 1:07, Trine made six-of-eight free-throw attempts en route to the 63-55 final.
Trine had three players score in double figures with all three scoring 13 points. Herbert, Bieniewicz and Kaylee Argyle all scored 13 points with 12 of Bieniewicz's points coming from three-point range (four-of-six). Herbert also led the team in rebounding with six boards.
Additionally, the duo of Kaylee Argyle and junior Kayla Wildman both tallied a game-tying high four assists.
The Thunder will compete in the MIAA Tournament that begins next week with a first-round game against an opponent to be named. Trine will host the game on Monday, Mar. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the MTI Center.