The Trine University women's basketball team held its opponent to just seven points in the second and third quarters as the Thunder won at home, 66-37, against Saint Mary's (Ind.) College in a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association game at the MTI Center in Angola, Ind.
The Thunder had a balanced scoring attack with only two players scoring in double figures. Sophomore Tara Bieniewicz (Chesterfield, Mich./Dakota) led all players with a game-high 16 points on six-of-10 shooting (60.0 percent) that included four of her made field goals coming from three-point range (four-of-eight overall). Freshman Sam Underhill (Grand Rapids, Mich./Northview) was the other Thunder player in double digits in scoring with 10 points.
Trine held Saint Mary's to just 25.0 percent shooting for the game (12-of-48) despite some competition by the Belles in the first quarter. Trine (11-4, 5-1 MIAA) jumped out to an early 7-0 lead to start the game, but a pair of free-throws and then a three-pointer by Saint Mary's (6-9, 3-3 MIAA) made it a one possession game, 7-5, with a little over four minutes remaining.
Back-to-back baskets by junior Jaycee Parrett (Wabash, Ind./Wabash) and Underhill, followed by one-of-two free-throws by Underhill, put Trine back out in front by a more comfortable seven points, 12-5, at the 1:31 mark. Saint Mary's then outscored Trine, 5-2, to end the period to creep to within four points, 14-10, after the first 10 minutes.
Following a brief scoring drought by both teams to start the second quarter that lasted 2:37, the Belles connected on a triple to get to within a point, 14-13. Trine's offense then began to find its rhythm with a 12-3 scoring run that ended in a layup by Underhill and gave the home team its first double-digit lead of the game of 10 points, 26-16, with just under two minutes to go in the half.
After a free-throw by Saint Mary's cut the lead to nine points, sophomore Kaylee Argyle (Freeland, Mich./Freeland) hit a three-pointer before the half expired to increase the margin back to double figures as the Thunder went into the locker rooms leading by 12 points, 29-17.
Trine continued to pull away in the third quarter as the Thunder outscored the Belles, 21-7, for the period. Trine opened the third period with 11 straight points for a streak of 14 unanswered that began with Kaylee Argyle's triple that ended the first half to make it a 26-point game, 43-17, at the 5:49 mark. Following two free-throws by Saint Mary's, the Trine scoring run continued with a layup by sophomore Kelsy Taylor (Louisville, Ky./New Albany) and three free-throws by Underhill to cap an overall 22-2 run to pad the advantage to 29 points, 48-19, with 3:38 left.
Scoring in the quarter ended with one-of-two free-throws by Saint Mary's, but Trine still maintained a sizeable 26-point margin, 50-24, heading into the final period.
The fourth quarter saw Trine post its largest lead of the game with just under two-and-a-half minutes remaining when freshman Makayla Ardis (Lake City, Mich./Lake City) scored on a layup that gave the Thunder a 30-point lead, 64-34. Fellow freshman Alexa Porter (Goshen, Ind./Concord) scored what turned out to be the final points of the contest on a layup with 22 seconds on the clock as the Thunder cruised to the 66-37 final.
Trine will host Albion (Mich.) College on Saturday, Jan. 18 in a MIAA game at the MTI Center. The game is slated to begin at 3 p.m.
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