The Trine University women's basketball team defeated Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association opponent Alma (Mich.) College, 71-33, in a conference matchup at the MTI Center in Angola, Ind.
As a team, the Thunder shot an even 50.0 percent (26-of-52) from the floor, including 46.2 percent (six-of-13) from three-point range. Sophomore Tara Bieniewicz (Chesterfield, Mich./Dakota) led all players in scoring with 17 points on six-of-11 shooting (54.5 percent). Fellow sophomore Kelsy Taylor (Louisville, Ky./New Albany) also finished in double figures to round out the high scorers with 13 points and also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
In the first quarter, Trine (17-4, 11-1 MIAA) started the period by scoring the first 15 points to grab the early lead, 15-0. Alma (9-12, 4-8 MIAA) didn't record its first basket until the 2:46 minute mark and were held to just five points total for the quarter as the Scots shot 15.4 percent (two-of-13) from the floor. After one-of-two free-throws by freshman Sophie Sloneker (Monroe, Ohio/Monroe) that made it a 16-3 ball game, Alma tallied the final points of the quarter on a jumper to make the score 16-5 after 10 minutes of action.
The second quarter began in similar fashion to the first as the Thunder scored eight straight points to pad the lead to 19 points, 24-5, following a layup by Taylor with 7:16 to play. Following a jumper by the Sccots following the Taylor lay-in, Bieniewicz gave Trine its first 20-point advantage of the game just under the six minute mark by a score of 29-9. Alma then scored five unanswered points to pull to within 15 points until a layup by sophomore Rachel Stewart (Pekin, Ind./Eastern) sparked a 10-0 run with six of those points scored by Bieniewicz, to extend the margin back to over the 20-point plateau, 39-14, with under a minute left in the half. Taylor tallied the final points of the half with a pair of free-throws and matched the Thunder's largest lead of the game to that point of 25 points, 41-16.
Trine began the third quarter with a 12-2 run and ended in a layup by junior Shay Herbert (Pinckney, Mich./Pinckney) to extend the Thunder lead to over 30 points, 53-18, at the 5:27 mark. The Thunder continued to pull away and posted their largest lead of the game of 39 points, 62-23, with 38 seconds left in the third period thanks to a layup by Stewart that capped an 8-0 run. Alma snuck in a three-pointer before the end of the quarter to make the score, 62-26, heading into the final 10 minutes.
The Trine lead never dropped below 30 points in the fourth quarter and led by 38 points on three occasions that included the final score of 71-33 following a triple by sophomore Kaylee Argyle (Freeland, Mich./Freeland) to end the scoring.
The Thunder will be off on Saturday and will next travel to Albion, Mich. for a conference game against Albion College next Wednesday (Feb. 12). The game is set to begin at 7:30 p.m.
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