The Trine University women's basketball team wasted no time in getting ahead of Olivet (Mich.) College on the scoreboard and went on to post a one-sided victory against the Comets, 79-40, in a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association game at the MTI Center.
Trine (9-4, 3-1 MIAA) held Olivet (4-10, 1-4 MIAA) to just two made field goals in the first quarter that happened to be a pair of three-pointers for its only points of the opening frame. The Thunder began the scoring with seven straight points, five of which came off the fingertips of sophomore Tara Bieniewicz (Chesterfield, Mich./Dakota) thanks to a triple and a layup. Following Olivet's first made three-pointer, a layup by sophomore Kayla Wildman (Rockford, Mich./Rockford) started a streak of 12 straight points by the Thunder as the advantage ballooned to 16 points, 19-3, with 2:43 to go in the quarter. Olivet then tacked on their second tre to end the scoring as Trine led by a 13-point margin, 19-4, heading into the second period.
The Thunder continued to pull away in the second quarter and saw the lead reach the 20-point mark for the first time in the game at the 1:36 mark thanks to a jumper by sophomore Kelsy Taylor (Louisville, Ky./New Albany) that capped a steak of six unanswered points and made it a 36-15 game. Another three-pointer by Bieniewicz with 29 seconds left in the half, gave Trine its largest lead of the contest to that point of 23 points and ended the scoring to send the home squad into the locker rooms leading by a score of 41-18.
Leading by 24 points in the early minutes of the third quarter, Trine tallied 10 straight points, capped by a pair of free-throws by Wildman, to increase the lead to 34 points, 55-21, at the 5:58 mark. The Thunder went on to lead by as many as 36 points in the quarter following a layup by sophomore Rachel Stewart (Pekin, Ind./Eastern) with a little over two minutes to go. Olivet tallied the final points of the period, but still trailed by 32 points, 65-33, heading into the final quarter of play.
In the fourth, Trine held Olivet to just seven points as the Thunder recorded their largest margin of the game of 40 points, 77-37, with under a minute to go after one-of-two freebies by sophomore Hannah Milligan (Clinton Twp., Mich./Lutheran North). Nearing the end of the game, freshman Alexa Porter (Goshen, Ind./Concord) put the final points on the board with a jumper as Trine cruised to the 79-40 final.
Four players scored in double figures for Trine led by the duo of Bieniewicz and Taylor who both finished with a game-high 12 points. Taylor also grabbed six rebounds to go along with her point total. Wildman was third in scoring with 11 points and senior Katy Steers (Portage, Ind./Portage) rounded out the high scorers with 10 points and also had a game-high five assists.
Junior Shay Herbert (Pinckney, Mich./Pinckney) and freshman Sam Underhill (Grand Rapids, Mich./Northview) both grabbed a game-tying high eight rebounds.
Trine will travel to Alma, Mich. for a MIAA game against Alma College on Saturday, Jan. 11. The game is set to tip-off at 3 p.m.
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