Thunder Women's Basketball News
12/7- Comeback attempt against Calvin falls just short
By: Zachary Bigger, Student Assistant
ANGOLA, Ind.-- Despite trailing by 14 points at halftime and coughing up the ball 22 times in the contest, Trine (1-5, 0-1 MIAA) closed the gap to within three in the final 20 seconds before two free throws by Calvin (5-2, 2-1 MIAA) sealed the deal for the Knights.
The Thunder’s shooting kept them in the game; shooting 45.5% overall thanks to a standout performance by junior guard Kelsey Henselmeier (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville). Henselmeier, made her first seven field goal attempts on her way to a career-best 22 points to go with 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Calvin shot just 32.3% for the game, but had 17 more field goal attempts after winning the offensive rebound battle 19 to 7.
The game was a back and forth affair early on, with Trine leading narrowly for the first six minutes before an 8-3 stretch by the Knights pulled them ahead for good. Calvin also had a big 19-7 in a span of six minutes late in the first half that put them up 38-24 with 1:35 remaining. After swapping points in the final 95 seconds, the Thunder trailed 40-26 at the end of the first twenty minutes.
Rather than fading away, the Thunder fought back and chipped at the lead throughout the second half. After getting outrebounded by 9 in the first half, they finished with only one less rebound in the second. They continued to get consistent offensive production from Henselmeier and sophomore forward Alivia Recker (Arlington, Ohio/Arlington), who scored 7 points in each half. Trine’s team effort wore down Calvin in the paint, picking up a 20-8 advantage.
In the closing minutes, two Henselmeier free throws cut the deficit inside double digits to 8, 59-51, with 5:19 remaining. Henselmeier came back on the next possession and hit a layup. Recker stole the ball and hit a jumper and now the lead was down to 5. Calvin missed a three pointer, and Henselmeier nailed two throws after being fouled on her drive to the basket. Suddenly, it was a one-possession game with 2:09 to play, 61-58 Calvin.
Calvin would extend the lead to six thanks to racking up three offensive rebounds in a single possession. Now with 26 seconds left to play and trailing 66-60, the Thunder pushed the ball down the floor and set up Alivia Recker, who delivered on a three point bomb that cut the Knights lead in half.
Trine trapped the inbound pass, and the double team nearly forced the pivotal turnover they need to try to tie the game. After a timeout was called and Calvin regrouped, they were able to inbound successfully and the Thunder were forced to foul. Calvin hit both free throws, the Thunder missed a layup opportunity, and that was the last opportunity for Trine as the clock ran out.
Trine is on the road for the next five contests, which begins next Saturday in a MIAA conference game against St. Mary’s at 3:00 p.m.
11/30- Recker, suffocating defense get thunder in win column
ANGOLA, Ind.-- A suffocating defensive effort and a big game from sophomore Alivia Recker powered Trine to a 60-31 victory over visiting Anderson Saturday afternoon at Hershey Hall.
Trine's swarming defense held Anderson to 19 percent shooting (10-of-52) on the afternoon. The effort was the second-stingiest field goal percentage allowed by a Thunder team since the school transitioned to Division III 10 years ago. Recker paced the Thunder with 20-point, two-rebound, five-assist performance. The Arlington, Ohio native connected on 7-of-14 from the field and hit all six of her free throw attempts. She has scored in double-figures in three-straight, leading Trine in scoring in each contest. The win improves the Thunder to 1-4 on the season. Anderson falls to 0-4.
Kelsey Henselmeier added eight points, four assists and a pair of blocks for Trine. Lauren Tait hit all four of her attempts from the field for an eight-point night. The Thunder forced Anderson into 30 turnovers, which Trine converted into 25 points. Trine shot 40 percent from the field (23-of-57) and hit 14-of-20 (70 percent) from the free throw line.
Cori Connor led Anderson with 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting. Nyomi Deifel notched a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with six points. The Ravens hit 10-of-16 free throw attempts (63 percent).
An early 8-0 run by Trine gave the Thunder the lead for good. Back-to-back layups by Tait gave Trine their first lead at 6-4 with 16:23 to play in the first half. A jumper and a pair of free throws by Recker pushed the score to 10-4. Trine would not trail the rest of the way. The Thunder held the Ravens without a field goal for a near-seven minute stretch in the first half, during which Trine pushed their lead from 17-10 to 25-12.
Trine would go on to lead by as much as 32 after a Taylor Cole layup made the score 58-26 with 2:18 to play. The Thunder held Anderson without a field goal for a second seven-minute stretch in the second half.
Trine returns to action Saturday, Dec. 7 when the Thunder open MIAA play at home against Calvin. Tip-off is slated for 3:00 p.m.
11/26- THUNDER FALL to #16 Carthage in Home-opener
ANGOLA, Ind.-- Hot-shooting by 16th-ranked Carthage paced the Lady Reds to a 77-44 victory over Trine in the home-opener for the Thunder Tuesday evening at Hershey Hall.
Carthage connected on 60 percent of their shots from the field (31-of-51) in the victory. Michelle Wenzel paced all scorers with 16 points on 8-of-13 shooting, and added seven rebounds. Stephanie Kuzmanic added 15 points and a game-high nine assists for the Lady Reds. Alivia Recker led the Thunder with 13 points to go along with four rebounds, three assists and four steals. Recker has led Trine in scoring in each of the last two games. Carthage improves to 4-0 on the season, while Trine falls to 0-4.
Amy Newell added nine points for Trine on 3-of-6 shooting from the floor. Kelsey Henselmeier added seven points and four assists. The Thunder shot 32.6 percent from the field (14-of-43) and hit 14-of-25 from the charity stripe (56 percent).
Alexis Hahn notched 12 points off the bench for Carthage. Erin Quinn filled the stat sheet with seven points, six assists and three rebounds. The Lady Reds held a 38-14 advantage in points in the paint.
Carthage jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the game's first three minutes. The Thunder were able to rally to pull the score within 11-10 with a 10-2 spurt over the following four minutes of play. A fast-break layup by Newell got the Thunder on the board, before a Recker three and bucket by Henselmeier cut the deficit to two. After a Lady Red bucket, a pair of free throws by Megan Engle and a free throw by Katelyn Sager cut the score to 11-10.
From that point on, it was all Carthage. The deciding 23-4 run over the next 10 minutes by the Lady Reds effectively put the game out of reach. Hahn scored eight of her points during the run, which concluded with Carthage holding a 34-14 lead with 3:14 to play in the half.
The Lady Reds would go on to lead by as many as 35. Carthage continued their hot shooting in the second half, hitting at a 64 percent clip (16-of-25). Recker scored 10 of her points in the second half to pace Trine, knocking down 4-of-5 shots from the field.
Trine will return to action this Saturday, Nov. 30 when they host Anderson (IN) in a non-conference game at 3:00 p.m. in Hershey Hall.
2/25 - Spragg and Loveberry Named All-MIAA in Women's Basketball
ROAL OAK, Mich. - For the first time in since joining the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the Trine University women’s basketball team had two players named All-MIAA. Senior Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading) was named to the first team while fellow senior Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) earned second team honors. Under former NBA All-Star and first-year head coach Steve Mix, the Thunder finished the season with their first winning record since joining the NCAA in 2004.
Spragg, the second Trine player ever to earn first team honors and the first since Sarah Howe did so in back-to-back seasons in 2007-08 and 2008-09, had a career season as she finished second in the conference in scoring with 17.7 points per game. Spragg was ranked in the top-10 in the conference in five other statistical categories including: third in steals, fourth in 3-point percentage, fifth in field goal percentage, eighth in free throw percentage and ninth in 3-point field goals made.
Loveberry finished her second season at Trine University after transferring, 17th in the MIAA in scoring, averaging 8.2 points per game. Loveberry scored 20-plus points in her final three regular season MIAA games and was a defensive machine for the Thunder. Despite being the shortest player on the team, Loveberry finished seventh in the conference in rebounding. She also finished the season fourth in the MIAA in steals, tied for seventh in assists and ninth in 3-point field goal percentage.
2/20 - Thunder Season Ends in MIAA Tournament
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - it was a tough way to end their first winning season in over a decade as the Trine University women’s basketball team fell to No. 3 Calvin College 83-48. The Thunder end their season with a 14-12 record.
It was a rough start for the Thunder as the Knights jumped out to an early 13-0 lead through 13:23 of the opening half. Senior Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) would end the drought as she hit a free throw at the 13:02 mark. The Thunder would get their first field goal at the 11:30 mark by sophomore Kelsey Henselmeier (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) as Trine trailed by 10. Calvin though, would come right back down the court and hit a three. From there, the Thunder would go nearly 9 minutes without another field goal, by then the Knights had taken a 21 point lead.
The Thunder shot just 3-of-32 (9.4%) in the opening half, including just 1-of-10 from long range as Calvin led it 40-11 at the break.
Calvin opened the second half by scoring the two opening baskets, but the Thunder came back to score two straight of their own. That would be as close as the Thunder would get as Calvin scored six straight points to push their lead to 35. Most of the second half saw the two sides trading baskets, until the Thunder were held scoreless over a 6 minute stretch late in the half.
Henselmeier led the Thunder with 14 points on the night on 5-of-10 shooting. Playing in her final game for the Thunder, Loveberry scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds. Fellow senior Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading) added eight points, seven rebounds and two steals for the night. Freshman Alivia Recker (Arlington, Ohio/Arlington) also added eight points off the bench for the Thunder. Also playing in her final game for Trine, senior Haley Killingbeck (Poneto, Ind./Southern Wells) finished the night with three points and two rebounds.
Trine shot 40% for the second half, but finished the night hitting 15-of-62 (24.2%) from the floor and 4-of-19 (21.1%) from three-point range. Calvin out-scored the Thunder in the paint 40-18 and scored 24 points on second chance opportunities.
2/16 - Thunder Clinch Spot in MIAA Tournament
ANGOLA, Ind. - The Trine University women’s basketball team sent their three seniors out in style as they not only defeated Kalamazoo College 72-58, but earned the fourth and final spot in the MIAA Tournament. The win improves the Thunder to 14-11 on the season and 8-8 in the MIAA. The Thunder will make their first trip to the conference tournament since switching to a four-team format.
After Kalamazoo scored the opening points on a three, the two sides traded baskets before the Thunder took their first, and only, lead they would need on a three by senior Haley Killingbeck (Poneto, Ind./Southern Wells). The Thunder would open the game on a 21-8 run as they never trailing the rest of the way.
The Thunder would have to fight off a pesky Hornets squad early on as they cut into Trine’s lead.
Over the course of the final 5:07 of the first half, the Thunder out-scored Kalamazoo 12-4. Senior Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) hit a jumper with under 10 seconds left in the half as the Thunder took a 42-25 lead into halftime.
The 42 points scored by the Thunder was the second most they’ve scored in a first half this season, and just the third time they scored 40 or more in the opening frame. The Thunder were on fire in the first half as they hit 50% (16-of-32) from the floor, including 5-of-9 (55.6) from three-point range.
After Killingbeck hit another three to start the second half, the Hornets would go on a six point run to cut the Trine lead to 11, but the Trine defense would not allow them any closer. The Thunder pushed their lead to the largest of the game when senior Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading) hit as jumper to give Trine a 67-49 lead with 5:24 to play.
All three Trine seniors went out on top as they were the top-3 leading scorers for the Thunder. Spragg scored a game-high 23 points including a near perfect 12-of-13 from the free throw line. Loveberry nearly matched Spragg, scoring 20 points, of which 12 came from long distance. Spragg and Loveberry led the Thunder with seven rebounds each while Spragg also led the Thunder with four steals. Killingbeck just missed scoring in double-digits as she added nine points, all of which came from behind- the-arc. Sophomore Kelsey Henselmeier (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) led the Thunder with a game-high four assists while matching Spragg and Loveberry with seven boards.
The win gives the Thunder their first winning record since the 2002-03 season in which they finished 18-13, their final season before becoming an NCAA school.
For the game, both sides made 23 fields goals but the Thunder were able to convert 18-of-25 from the line while the Hornets made just 5-of-10 attempts. Trine was also able to use Kalamazoo’s 23 turnovers to their advantage, converting them into 38 points.
Trine will travel to Calvin, who earned the top seed by a coin flip after tying Hope, for the semi-finals of the MIAA Tournament on February 20 at 7:30 p.m.
2/13 - Thunder Win Hard-Fought Game Over Scots
ALMA, Mich. - The Trine University women’s basketball team now controls their own destiny to reach the MIAA Tournament as they defeated Alma College 59-52. The win improves the Thunder to 7-8 in the conference, a game ahead of both Alma and Adrian with one game to play. If the Thunder (13-11 overall) defeat Kalamazoo on Saturday, they will clinch the fourth seed in the conference tournament.
It took over three minutes for either team to get on the board, but the Thunder used that to their advantaged as they sprinted out to a 16-2 lead through 11:26 of the half as they never trailed the rest of the way. The Trine defense held the Scots without a point over a 4:06 stretch until Alma hit a free throw. The Thunder defense ended up holding the Alma offense without a field goal for nearly 6 minutes.
With Trine leading 22-9 with 6:44 to play in the half, the Scots would go on a 10-0 run in just 1:29 to pull within three. Trine stopped the bleeding as junior Lauren Tait (Syracuse, Ind./Wawasee) hit a pair of free throws to push the Trine lead back to five. After trading free throws, neither team would be able to cash in on their offensive opportunities over the final 3:22 of the half as the Thunder led it 26-22 at the break.
Despite shooting just 5-of-23 in the opening half, the Thunder connected on 13-of-15 from the free throw line.
Alma would cut the Trine lead to just one at 26-25 in the early goings, but the Thunder scored five straight points to push their lead back to six. Trine would continue the run as their lead grew back to double-digits as they led it 43-33 with 12:05 to play. The Trine defense would put a stop to the Scots offense, as they held the scoreless over a 4:35 stretch as the pushed their lead to 14 points.
After trading baskets, the Scots scored six straight to cut the Trine’s lead to just five with 3:20 to play in the game. With just 1:01 to play, the Scots fouled senior Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading) who stepped to the line and hit two clutch free throws to give the Thunder a seven point lead. Senior Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) would also hit a pair of free throws in the final 30 seconds as the Thunder held on for the win.
Loveberry led all players with a game-high 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including hitting four from three-point range. Loveberry also made a game-high four steals and grabbed five rebounds on the night. Spragg also scored in double-digits for the Thunder, scoring 16 points and leading the Thunder with seven rebounds and four steals. Freshman Kelcey Swisher (Williamsport, Ind./Seeger Memorial) led the Thunder with three assists.
Trine will host Kalamazoo on February 16 for a 3:00 p.m. for a chance to make the MIAA Tournament.
2/9 - Thunder Defense Dominates Albion
ANGOLA, Ind. - In one of their most dominating defensive performances of the season, the Trine University women’s basketball team kept their postseason hopes alive as they downed Albion College 63-46. The win moves the Thunder ahead of the Britons in the conference standings with a 6-8 record and an overall record of 12-11. Trine remains tied with Adrian and Alma for the fourth and final spot in the conference tournament, as both teams also picked up wins on the day.
After trading opening baskets, the Thunder would be off to the races as they sprinted out to a 20-2 lead with 11:25 to play in the half. The Trine defense held the Britons scoreless over a 9:07 period. Albion would then score six straight points as the Thunder led it 22-11 with 5:05 to play. The two sides would trade baskets over the final minutes of the half before junior Lauren Tait (Syracuse, Ind./Wawasee) would hit a jumper with just seconds left on the clock as Trine entered halftime with a 33-18 lead.
The 18 points allowed by the Thunder tied for a first half season-low, while the five field goals allowed were a season-low for the defense. Trine shot 14-of-34 (41.2%) from the floor in the first half while Albion managed just 25% (5-of-20).
It was more of the same for the Thunder to start the second half. After Albion made the opening bucket, the Thunder would go on a 10-0 run to push their lead to their largest of the game at 23 points. Albion would battle back going on their own 9-0 run to cut Trine’s lead to 14 points with 14:30 left in the game. From there though, Trine would not allow the Britons to get any closer as their lead never dipped below 14 points. Trine’s defense closed out the game allowing just two Albion field goals in the final 5:59 of the game, one of which came in the final seconds.
Senior Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) led the Thunder with a game- and season-high 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the floor and pulled down seven rebounds. Loveberry’s 64.3% from the floor was also a team season-high and her six assists on the day also tied a team season-high. Senior Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading) and freshman Alivia Recker (Arlington, Ohio/Arlington) each added 12 points on the afternoon. Recker grabbed a season-high seven rebounds while Spragg led the Thunder with two steals. Tait pulled down a game-high eight rebounds which also tied a season-high for her.
For the game, the Thunder hit 25-of-63 (39.7%) from the floor while allowing a season-low in both field goals made (15) and field goals attempted (46).
In all, 10 of the 11 Trine players who saw action in the game scored.
Trine will head out for their final road game of the regular season which could determine their postseason fate as they travel to Alma for a 7:30 p.m. game on February 13.
2/6 - Thunder Erase 20 Point Deficit But Fall to Bulldogs
ADRIAN, Mich. - After battling back from a 20-point deficit to take a lead late in the second half, the Trine University women’s basketball team fell in the final minute to Adrian College 51-48. The loss drops the Thunder into a four-way tie for the fourth and final seed in the MIAA tournament with a 5-8 record and an 11-11 overall record.
It took a few minutes for the teams to get going, but once they did the baskets came quickly. After Adrian hit a three, Trine quickly answered with back-to-back jumpers by senior Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading). The Bulldogs would hit another three to regain the lead before the Thunder went on a 6-0 run.
Trine’s lead quickly vanished though as Adrian went on an 11-0 scoring run to take a 17-11 lead with 8 minutes and 14 seconds to play. Trine would hit a free throw to end the scoring drought, but Adrian would close the half with a 17-4 run to lead 34-16 as the Thunder failed to hit a field goal in the final 14:38 of the half.
The Thunder managed to shoot just 20% (5-of-25) in the first half while the Bulldogs hit 14-for-35 (40%) in the period.
The tides quickly turned in the second half as the Thunder scored the first seven points en-route to a 15-3 pace to cut the lead to just six points less than five minutes into the period. After Adrian hit a layup, senior Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) hit a shot from long range before freshman Alivia Recker (Arlington, Ohio/Arlington) may a layup off a fast break to pull the Thunder within one at 39-38.
With 9:23 to play, Spragg would hit a pair of free throws to give Trine their first lead since 10:33 of the first half. The lead would be short lived though as Adrian quickly hit a jumper to re-take the lead. It would be nearly 4 minutes before another point was scored as Spragg hit yet another jumper to give Trine a lead before Adrian would tie the game at 44 on a free throw.
After both teams hit a pair of jumpers, Adrian would take a two-point lead with 1:19 to play. Both teams would then have an opportunity to score, but were unable to as the Thunder were forced to foul and send Adrian to the line. After Adrian hit a pair of free throws, senior Haley Killingbeck (Poneto, Ind./Southern Wells) would make a layup with 7 seconds left in the game to pull back within two.
Trine would foul the Bulldogs on the ensuing inbounds pass. After the Adrian shooter missed the second free throw, the Thunder were unable to gather the rebound as time expired.
Spragg led all scorers with a game-high 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the floor and a perfect 8-for-8 form the free throw line. Spragg also grabbed seven rebounds and made two steals. Killingbeck was the only other Trine player to score in double-figures with 10 points while pulling down a game-high nine rebounds and four blocks. Loveberry led the Thunder with a game-high four assists and also had five rebounds.
All five starters for the Thunder recorded a block in the game.
Trine will return home on February 9 to host Albion for a 1:00 p.m. game.
2/4 - Thunder Fall to Knights On the Road
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - It was a tough road trip for the Trine University women’s basketball team as they headed to No. 2 Calvin College after their initial game was cancelled on Saturday due to snow. The long drive to face the Knights was made even tougher with the 86-50 loss for the Thunder. Trine drops to 11-10 on the season and remain tied with Alma for the fourth and final spot in the MIAA Tournament with a 5-7 record.
It was a defensive battle through the opening 10 minutes of the game as Trine held the seventh ranked scoring offense in the country to just 14 points.
After Calvin hit the opening shot of the game, Trine senior Sydney Spragg (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) would answer back with a three to give the Thunder the lead. After a pair of free throws by the Knights, Spragg would score again for the Thunder to regain the lead, but that would be their final lead of the game. Calvin would score the next six points as they took the lead 10-5, one they would never relinquish.
With Trine trailing by just five at 14-9 with 10:46 to play in the half, the Knights would close out the half on a 27-11 run to lead the Thunder 41-20 at the break.
The second half wasn’t much kinder to the Thunder as Calvin pushed their lead to a game-high 42 points just seven minutes in after opening the half on a 25-4 scoring run. Trine would cut the lead to 33 points, but would be unable to pull any closer the rest of the way.
Sophomore Kelsey Henselmeier (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) led the Thunder with 11 points off the bench on 3-of-4 shooting from the floor and 4-of-6 from the charity stripe. In addition, Henselmeier pulled down five boards in the game. Also scoring in double-digits for the Thunder off the bench was freshman Kelcey Swisher (Williamsport, Ind./Seeger Memorial) adding in 10 points. Spragg and freshman Alivia Recker (Arlington, Ohio/Arlington) each contributed seven points. Senior Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) led the Thunder with six rebounds on the night.
Trine won’t have any time to rest because of the makeup, as they get right back to action on February 6 when they travel to Adrian for a 6:00 p.m. game.
1/30 - Thunder Capture In-State Conference Rivalry Game
ANGOLA, Ind. - The Trine University women’s basketball team defeated the visiting Belles from Saint Mary’s College in MIAA conference action 63-57, getting a little pay back from the last time the two teams met. With the win, the Thunder are now 11-9 overall and 5-6 in conference play on the year.
Senior Haley Killingbeck (Poneto, Ind./Southern Wells) opened the scoring for the game with a jumper a minute and a half into the game. Saint Mary’s tied it up a minute later, and the two teams would trade baskets until the Belles took the lead at 14:12. Trine would battle back and take over the lead on a layup by senior Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) with 6:13 to go.
The back-and-forth play continued from there, until Trine went up by five on a jumper in the paint by freshman Alivia Recker (Arlington, Ohio/Arlington) with 11 seconds to go in the first half. The Belles would cut that deficit to three with a layup as time expired, as the Thunder led 31-28 at the half. Trine shot 36.4% from the floor in the first half and was 2-of-5 from beyond the arc.
Saint Mary’s opened the scoring in the second half, cutting Trine’s lead to just one. Trine answered back with a jumper by sophomore Kelsey Henselmeier (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) and a layup from senior Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading), which put the Thunder back up by five. After two free throws by the Belles, Trine would go on an 11-0 run, started by Killingbeck drilling a three. The visiting Belles were not done however, and went on a 14-1 run of their own to bring the deficit to just two with 2:32 left in the game. Henselmeier would answer quickly, hitting a three, as the Trine defense would stand tall in the final minutes, holding off the Belles to take the rivalry game.
Henselmeier would lead all scorers with a game-high 18 points, including going 3-for-3 from behind the three-point line. Henselmeier would add four assists and three steals. Spragg scored 16 points and grabbed five steals. Loveberry finished the night with 11 points, to go along with a game-high seven steals and tied a game-high with five assists. Recker finished the game with eight points and two assists of her own.
The Thunder would shoot 38.7% (24-of-62) from the floor on the night and converted 21 points off of turnovers.
Trine returns to action on February 2 when they will travel to second ranked Calvin. Tip off will be at 1:00 pm.
1/23 - Senior Duo Lead Thunder to Victory on the Road
OLIVET, Mich. - Behind the senior leadership of Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading) and Haley Killingbeck (Poneto, Ind./Southern Wells) the Trine University women’s basketball team held off Olivet College 50-47. The win improves the Thunder to 10-9 on the season and 4-6 in the MIAA.
After Olivet scored the first three points of the game, the Thunder answered back to take a 4-3 lead early. After trading baskets, the Comets would score five straight to re-take the lead 10-6. Trine would again answer back as Killingbeck hit back-to-back three’s to lead 14-11. Olivet would again tie the score, but Killingbeck would answer right back hitting another basket from long range. It would be nearly 2:30 later until another basket, but Olivet would tie the game at 18 on a three of their own. After the Comets hit a jumper to take the lead, Killingbeck would hit a pair of free throws before Spragg, freshman Alivia Recker (Arlington, Ohio/Arlington) and sophomore Lauren Tate (Syracuse, Ind./Wawasee) hit consecutive shots to give the Thunder a 26-20 heading into the break.
Trine forced 14 Olivet turnovers in the first half and converting them into 13 points.
It was a rough start to the second half for the Thunder as the Comets came out on fire going on a 10-1 run. Spragg would end the drought as she hit her first three of the night, tying the game at 30. The Comets would hit a jumper, but Spragg would answer right back with a step-back three to regain the lead. Neither team would find the bottom of the net for just over two minutes until the Thunder scored on back-to-back possessions to push their lead to eight, 44-36 with 7:33 to play in the game.
Olivet would go on a 9-2 run to cut the Trine lead to just two with 3:31 left. After Trine converted on a free throw, the Comets made a pair of them as the Thunder led was cut to just a point with a minute remaining 48-47. After Olivet missed a three, sophomore Kelsey Henselmeier (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) made a pair of free throws with 27 seconds left. The Thunder had a little bit of good luck as Olivet missed the ensuing three-point attempt, grabbed the offensive board and hit a wide-open three, but Olivet’s coach had already called a timeout, negating the points and giving Trine the win.
Spragg led all players with a game-high 16 points, nine of which came from long range. Killingbeck was right behind with 15 points, also with nine coming from behind the arc. Henselmeier led all players with four steals while adding in seven points. Recker contributed with six points off the bench for the Thunder. In all, five different Trine players had four rebounds on the night.
Trine shot nearly 40 percent (18-of-46) from the floor on the night while the Comets made just under 30 percent (17-of-57). As a team, the Thunder recorded a season-low 26 rebounds, including just one on the offensive glass.
The Thunder will have the weekend off before returning to action at home on January 30 against Saint Mary’s at 6:00 p.m.
1/19 - Thunder Unable to Overcome Hope’s Three’s
ANGOLA, Ind. - After a good start, the Trine University women’s basketball team was unable to keep pace with the third ranked Hope College, falling 75-39. The Thunder now stand at 9-9 on the season and 3-6 in the MIAA.
The Thunder jumped out to a 4-0 lead holding the Flying Dutch to just a pair of free throws through the opening 3:38 as Trine led 8-2. Hope would start their barrage of three’s as they took their first lead of the game at 15-14 with 11:02 to play. Trine would answer right back on their following possession as freshman Alivia Recker (Arlington, Ohio/Arlington) nailed a jumper. Hope though would finish the half out-scoring the Thunder 27-10 to lead 42-26 at the break. Trine was unable to stop Hope’s three-point shooters in the first half, as nine of Hope’s 14 field goals came from long range.
The two sides traded baskets early on the in second half, but the Thunder would go 6:30 without a field goal. However, the Trine defense helped them stay in the game at that point as they also held the Flying Dutch without a field goal for a similar six minute span. After ending their drought, it would be another six minutes before Trine would hit another field goal, and by then Hope had pushed their lead to almost 30 points with just 4:30 to play.
Sophomore Kelsey Henselmeier (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) was the only Trine player to score in double-digits, finishing the afternoon with 10 points and led the Thunder with three steals. Senior Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading), sophomore Kayla Dunn (Larwill, Ind./Columbia City) and Recker each finished with eight points. Junior Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.
Trine hit nearly 50 percent from the floor in the first half (11-of-23, 47.8%) but managed just 4-of-19 (21.1%) shooting in the second half. Almost half of all Hope’s field goals came on three-pointers (13-of-27).
Trine will head out on the road on January 23 when they head to Olivet for a 6:00 p.m. tip.
1/16 - Thunder Come Up Just Short to Scots
By Sports Information Student Assistant Caitlin Reynolds
ANGOLA, Ind. - The Trine University women’s basketball team lost a nail-biter to visiting MIAA conference rival Alma College 58-53. The loss puts the Thunder at 9-8 overall on the year and 3-5 in conference action.
Trine would lead the game off with the opening bucket, but Alma would tie it up quickly, and would hold onto the lead the entire first half. Although the Thunder defense kept the deficit close, tying the game twice, but were unable to take a lead. The big story for the first half for the Thunder was getting buckets to fall, as they shot just 25.9% from the field.
The second half opened with the Thunder trailing by 10, which would be Alma’s biggest lead of the game. Trine came out firing however, going on a 12-0 run and keeping the Scots scoreless for nearly six minutes. During their run, Trine would take only their second lead of the game with the score 32-30. The Thunder would hold onto the lead until Alma tied it up at 47-47 with 4:38 to go in the game. From there, the two teams traded leads back and forth, until with 1:42 to go. Trine senior Sydney Spragg hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 53. But Alma would then make 5-of-6 free throws in the final 1:28 to take the lead for good as the Thunder were unable to convert again.
Spragg the way for the Thunder with a game-high 21 points, including making 9-of-10 from the free throw line. Fellow senior Haley Killingbeck (Poneto, Ind./Southern Wells) added eight points of her own, along with a game-high three blocks and three assists. Sophomore Kelsey Henselmeier (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) chipped in six points along with eight rebounds. Senior Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) led the Thunder with nine rebounds, which tied for game-high, and also added five points and two steals. Freshman Alivia Recker (Arlington, Ohio/Arlington) added six points of her own, and also had a game-high three steals.
The Thunder made just 32.8% (19-of-58) from the floor, compared to 36.8% (21-for-57) for Alma.
Trine will next play host to third ranked Hope College on Saturday January 19 with tip off set for 1:00 p.m.
1/12 - Thunder Defense Claims Victory over Hornets
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - A strong defensive first half by the Trine University women’s basketball team allowed them to never trail in their 53-46 victory over MIAA opponent Kalamazoo College. With the win the Thunder improve to 9-7 on the season and 3-4 in the conference.
After trading baskets to open the game, the Thunder would score the next five points and never look back. With 13:51 to play in the first half and leading by just three at 10-7, Trine would go a 10-point run over the next four minutes to go up by double-digits. After Kalamazoo cut the lead to just six, the Thunder battled back finishing the half on an 8-1 run before the Hornets hit a three with 17 seconds remaining.
Leading by 10 to start the second half, Kalamazoo gave Trine a run for their money as they cut the Thunder lead to just four. Leading 34-30 seven minutes into the half, the Trine defense would keep the Hornets off the scoreboard for the next six minutes of play as they built their lead back to double-digits. After neither team was able to score for nearly a four minute stretch, the final 2:55 of play saw a fury of scoring and the teams combined 22 points.
Senior Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading) led the way for Trine with a game-high 18 points, including making 6-of-10 from the free throw line. Spragg also led the Thunder with a game-high three steals while adding five rebounds and four assists. Fellow senior Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) added eight points and led the Thunder with eight rebounds and picking off two turnovers. Sophomore Kayla Dunn (Larwill, Ind./Columbia City) led Trine with a game-high five assist and contributing seven points. Senior Haley Killingbeck (Poneto, Ind./Southern Wells) scored six points, grabbed six boards and swatted away a game-high three shots.
Trine held the Hornets to just 25.9% (15-of-58) shooting from the floor on the afternoon, a season-best for the Thunder. The 15 field goals made also tied a defensive season-low for the Thunder.
The ladies will return to action on January 16 when they host Alma at 6:00 p.m.
1/9 - Thunder Fall to In-State Rival Belles
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - In a battle of in-state rivals, the Trine University women’s basketball team fell to Saint Mary’s 59-43. The loss drops the Thunder to 8-7 on the season and 2-4 in the MIAA.
The Belles jumped out early, scoring the first four points of the game en-route to leading 14-3 through the opening 10 minutes. The Thunder offense struggled early as they shot just 1-of-13 through that point. With the Thunder trailing by 12 with 7:46 to play in the half, the ladies came roaring back going on a 10-2 run to pull within four at 21-17. However, the Belles would score the final six points of the half as they led 27-17 at the break.
It wouldn’t go Trine’s way to start the second half, as the Belles opened on an 8-2 run to push their lead to 16 points. The Thunder would then hit a pair of three’s and a layup to cut the lead back to 10, but Saint Mary’s would answer with six points of their own. Neither team would be able to find the bottom of the net for near five minutes from there until the Belles broke the silence at the 8:54 mark.
Trine would again hit a pair of three’s and a layup to pull within 10 at 45-35 with 7:13 to play. Saint Mary’s would put the game away late though, as they scored eight unanswered points to lead by 19 points and under two minutes to play.
Senior Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading) led the Thunder with 10 points. Sophomore Kayla Dunn (Larwill, Ind./Columbia City) just missed a double-double, finishing the night with eight points and eight rebounds. Freshman Alivia Recker (Arlington, Ohio/Arlington) added in seven points while leading the Thunder with three assists.
The Trine defense held the Belles to just one three-point attempt on the night. For the game, the Thunder converted just 27.8% (15-of-54) from the floor compared to 21-for-60 (35%) for Saint Mary’s.
The team will head back out on the road to face Kalamazoo on January 12 for a 3:00 p.m. game.
1/5 - Thunder Hold #2 Knights to Season Lows
ANGOLA, Ind. - In their toughest game of the season to-date, the Trine University women’s basketball team fell to #2 Calvin College 64-36, despite holding the Knights to their second fewest points of the year. The loss drops the Thunder to 8-6 on the season and 2-3 in the conference.
The Thunder held their own against the powerful Knights through the opening minutes as the two teams battled back-and-forth. With Trine down just one at 8-7, Calvin would begin to slowly pull away as they hit three straight 3-pointers to take a double-digit lead. The Thunder defense did all they could to hold the Knights as they allowed just eight points in the final seven minute of the half, but the offense also managed just eight points as Calvin led 37-23 at intermission.
The biggest difference in the half was turnovers. Although Trine committed just four more turnovers than the Knights, Calvin was able to turn 11 Thunder errors into 19 points.
It would be a tough start to the second half for the Thunder as they went 6:27 without a point until freshman Alivia Recker (Arlington, Ohio/Arlington) made a free throw. However by that time Calvin had built to a 23 point lead at 47-24. Both defenses would step up in the final 10 minutes of the game as the two sides combined for just 22 points.
Trine was led by Recker who finished with a season-high 13 points and four rebounds. Sophomore Kelsey Henselmeier (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) added eight points and two assists on the afternoon. Fellow sophomore Kayla Dunn (Larwill, Ind./Columbia City) finished with six points and a team-high eight rebounds.
The Thunder defense also held the Knights to their fewest field goals of the season. Calvin had been the 8th best scoring team in the country, averaging 78.0 points per game and 83.7 in four conference games. Trine also held Calvin to a season-low 37.3% (25-of-67) from the floor; the Knights had been averaging 47.2 percent, the second best in Division III. Trine also held the reigning MIAA MVP Carissa Verkaik to just 13 points, her second fewest of the year.
Trine will look to rebound when they travel to Saint Mary’s on January 9 for a 7:30 p.m. game.
12/31 - Swisher Named MIAA Women’s Basketball POW
ROYAL OAK, Mich. - The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association has named Trine University guard Kelcey Swisher its Player of the Week in women’s basketball for games played through December 30. This marks the second straight week that a Trine player has earned the honor.
Swisher, a freshman from Williamsport, Ind. (Seeger Memorial HS), averaged 15 points as Thunder split two games in the SportONE Shootout hosted by Indiana Tech. She came off the bench to score 10 points in a 61-56 loss to Spring Arbor. Then, in her first collegiate start, poured in 20 points and added three steals in a 99-79 win over Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Swisher, who is being honored as Player of the Week for the first time in her career, made 9 of 14 shots from the field (64 percent), including 4 of 7 (57 percent) from 3-point range, and sank all eight of her free throws for the tournament.
Since joining the MIAA in 2004, this marks the first time that the Trine women’s team has earned back-to-back Players of the Week. It also marks the first time that two different players have received Player of the Week honors in the same season.
12/29 - Thunder Earn Split at SportONE Shootout
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The Trine University women’s basketball team headed down I-69 for the two-day SportONE Shootout hosted by Indiana Tech. The Thunder fell in the opener to Spring Arbor 61-55 before bouncing back to dominate Saint Mary-of-the-Woods 99-79. Trine’s record now stands at 8-5 on the season.
Trine’s opening game saw them take on an old conference foe from their NAIA days as the Thunder faced Spring Arbor for the first time in almost nine years to the day (Dec. 30, 2003). From the start, the Cougars led for most of the first half. Down 18-10 with 8:52 to play, the Thunder would start a comeback and take their first lead of the game at 21-20 and 4 minutes remaining in the half.
Leading 30-25 at the half, the Thunder would lead most of the second half. Trine led by as many as eight at 45-37 with 10:14 to play in the game. Spring Arbor cut into the lead as the two sides battled in the final minutes. With the Thunder up one, 56-55 with 1:08 to play, the Cougars were able to convert a pair of free throws with just 40 seconds to play to re-take the lead. Trine would miss a jumper on the ensuing possession and were forced to foul. Spring Arbor converted the next four free throws as the Thunder were unable to make a shot in the final seconds.
The Thunder bounced back on the second day as they never trailed against the Pomeroys in their first-ever meeting. Trine jumped out to an 8-0 lead as they didn’t allow a point until the 15:12 mark. After their lead was cut to just four at 32-28, the Thunder would go on a 17-4 run to take a 17 point lead.
After leading 53-40 at the half, the Thunder pushed their lead to 20 points just four minutes in to the second half. Trine kept their lead to at least 20 throughout most of the second half, until Saint Mary of-the-Woods cut it to 14 points in the final 5 minutes. The Thunder defense ended the game strong, not allowing a Pomeroys point in the final 3:32 of the game.
Against Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, freshman Kelcey Swisher (Williamsport, Ind./Seeger Memorial) recorded a career-high 20 points. Seniors Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) and Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading) collected their first double-doubles of the season. Loveberry finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds while Spragg had 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. It’s the third career double-double for Spragg and the second for Loveberry. It also marks the first time two Trine players have earned a double-double in the same game since Danielle Senf and Sarah Howe also accomplished it on November 22, 2008 against Ohio Northern.
For the weekend, Spragg, Loveberry and Swisher all finished with 30 points. Spragg and Loveberry also finished with identical rebounding numbers, 18. Spragg also led the Thunder for the tournament in steals, 8, assists, 7, and blocks, 4.
The 99 points scored by Trine against Saint Mary-of-the-Woods is the most by a Thunder squad since they defeated Olivet in Angola, 100-89 on February 16, 2005.
The ladies will return to action in a week when they host third ranked Calvin on January 5 at 3:00 p.m.
12/24 - Spragg Named MIAA Women’s Basketball POW
ROYAL OAK, Mich. - The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association has named Trine University forward Sydney Spragg its Players of the Week in women’s basketball for games played through Dec. 22. Spragg shared the award with Courtney Kust from Hope.
Spragg, a senior from Reading, Michigan (Reading HS), averaged 14.5 points and 2.5 steals in leading the Thunder to a pair of nonconference victories for the week. She scored 17 points in a 53-42 victory over Manchester University then added 12 points and three steals in a 64-54 win over Edgewood College (WI). Spragg’s defensive pressure helped Trine limit its opponents to 28 percent shooting from the field for the week. She made 8 of 20 field goal attempts (40 percent) and 12 of 17 from the line (71 percent) in the two games. Spragg is being honored as Player of the Week for the first time in her career.
This is the first time a Trine women’s basketball player has earned Player of the Week honors since Sarah Howe also shared the honor in week 11 during the 2007-08 season.
12/21 - Thunder Win in 2012 Home Finale
ANGOLA, Ind. - In their final home game of 2012, the Trine University women’s basketball team used a first half lead to hold on to a 64-54 win over Edgewood (WI) College. The win improves the Thunder to 7-4 on the season.
After trading baskets to begin the game, the Thunder led 10-8 at the 12:29 mark. From there the Thunder slowly began to pull away as they built to their largest lead of the game 29-15 with 4:44 to play in the half. The Eagles would score eight straight points to close the gap to six. Trine would close the half out with the final four points to take a 33-23 lead at the break.
Trine would continue to hold roughly a 10 point lead through most of the early second half. With 4:43 left in the game, the Thunder led 54-43 but Edgewood would try to close the gap. Leading by just six with under two minutes to play, sophomore Kelsey Henselmeier (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) would be fouled while making a layup and convert on the ensuing free throw to cement the win. The Thunder would hold the Eagles to just one basket and a free throw in the finals minutes to close out the game.
Henselmeier led all players with a season-high 14 points, eight of which came from the charity stripe. Senior Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading) scored in double-digits for the 10th time this season, adding in 12 points and a game-high three steals. Fellow senior Haley Killingbeck (Poneto, Ind./Southern Wells) scored 11 points on the night while grabbing a team-high seven rebounds and also making three steals. Killingbeck also swatted away a single-game school record seven shots.
Junior Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) also grabbed seven rebounds and three steals while junior Lauren Tait (Syracuse, Ind./Wawasee) led the Thunder with a game-high three assists.
Edgewood employed a full-court press for most of the game, but the Thunder used that to their advantage, scoring 14 points off the fast break. The Eagles attempted a season-high 71 shots, but the Thunder defense allowed just 20 Edgewood field goals. Trine attempted and made a season-high 23-of-34 from the free throw line on the night. As a team, the Thunder also made a season-high 11 blocks, which also set a single-game record.
The Thunder will wrap up their 2012 year when they travel to Indiana Tech for the SportONE Shootout beginning on December 29 when they face Spring Arbor at 6:00 p.m.
12/18 - Senior Trio Lead Thunder over Spartans
ANGOLA, Ind. - After a slow start, the Trine University women’s basketball team picked up the pace to end the first half as they handled Manchester University 53-42. The win improves the Thunder to 6-4 on the season.
It took over 3 minutes for either team to put points up on the board, but Trine senior Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) would drain a three to give the Thunder a lead that they would never relinquish. The Spartans would answer right back but the Thunder would then take an 11-2 lead 7 minutes into the game. The Trine defense would allow just those two points over the course of the first 9:26.
It would be nearly 3 minutes until either team scored again as Manchester ended the scoreless streak with a free throw. After the Spartans pulled within four at 11-7, the teams traded buckets over the next 9 minutes. With the Thunder leading 24-19 with just 1:23 to play in the half, Trine fired off five straight points to end the half up 11.
The second half opened with the two sides again trading baskets through the first 6 minutes, but the scoring soon went silent for nearly 3 minutes of play. The Thunder refused to allow Manchester to get any offense going as they kept their lead at double-digits for most of the second half.
Leading 44-33 with 6:34 remaining, Trine pushed their lead to 17, scoring six straight points and holding Manchester scoreless for nearly 4 minutes. Although the Thunder pushed their lead to 18 with 1:45 to play, the Spartans refused to go quietly, scoring the final six points but the Trine lead was too big.
The senior trio of Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading), Haley Killingbeck (Poneto, Ind./Southern Wells) and Loveberry led the Thunder, all scoring in double-digits. Spragg led all players with a game-high 17 points of 6-of-10 shooting. Killingbeck earned her first double-double of the season and second of her career. She grabbed a team and individual season-high 12 rebounds while scoring 12 points, blocking four shots and grabbing three steals. Loveberry added 13 points while pulling down five rebounds and making three steals.
Killingbeck’s other double-double came on January 22, 2011 at home against Kalamazoo.
The Thunder return to action on December 21 when they host Edgewood College for a 7:00 p.m. game.
12/15 - Thunder Rally Late to Defeat Bulldogs
ANGOLA, Ind. - Despite not taking their first lead until 6:57 of the second half, the Trine University women’s basketball team pulled off a remarkable comeback defeating Adrian 46-41. The win improves the Thunder to 2-2 in the MIAA and 5-4 overall on the season.
It wasn’t looking good for the Thunder at the start as they were held without a field goal through the first 7 minutes of the game, trailing 10-1. Although Trine shot just 7-of-25 (28%) from the floor in the first half, the Thunder were able to slowly chip away at the Bulldogs lead. Senior Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading) would hit an and-one opportunity with just 22 seconds left in the half to pull within four at 21-17 at the break.
Trine junior Lauren Tait (Syracuse, Ind./Wawasee) hit a layup to start the second half as the Thunder trailed by just two. Adrian though would answer back, going on a 13-4 run to take their biggest lead of the game with 14:31 to play. The Thunder defense would come alive, not allowing an Adrian point for nearly 5 minutes, until a field goal at 9:21. Trine still trailed by seven, but quickly score nine straight points as sophomore Kayla Dunn (Larwill, Ind./Columbia City) hit a jumper to give the Thunder their first lead of the game at 38-36.
Adrian would connect on a fast break layup at 4:11 to regain a one point lead, but that would be the final time. With 2:35 left in the game, Spragg would be fouled while attempting a three-pointer and would convert on all three free throws to give the Thunder a 41-39 lead that they would not relinquish. Adrian would hit a jumper to pull within two with just about a minute left in the game, but the Trine defense would not allow another point.
Spragg, the leading scorer in conference action, finished the night with a game-high 25 points on 8-of-15 shooting and 8-of-11 from the free throw line. Spragg also led the Thunder with six rebounds, and a game-high four steals and three assists. Dunn and Tait both scored nine points on the night. Senior Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) grabbed five rebounds while tying Spragg with four steals on the night and also swatting away two shots.
Trine held Adrian to a season-low in points, field goals made, field goals attempted, free throws made, free throws attempted and rebounds.
On a night filled with turnovers, 25 for Adrian and 23 for Trine, the Thunder pulled off a season-high 16 steals. In all, eight Trine players recorded a steal on the afternoon. The 16 steals by the Thunder are the most since they made 17 against Alma on January 14 of last season.
Trine will return to action on December 18 when they host Manchester for a 7:00 p.m. game.
12/8 - Second Half Surge Leads Thunder to Victory
ALBION, Mich. - The Trine University women’s basketball team orchestrated a second half comeback led by the senior captain trio of Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading), Haley Killingbeck (Poneto, Ind./Southern Wells) and Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) to hold off Albion College 59-55. The Thunder snapped their three-game losing streak and earned their first MIAA win of the season (1-2) to improve to 4-4 on the season.
Albion would score the first two baskets of the game, but Trine would hang close early on. However, the Thunder offense would score just once over a 5 minute stretch as the Britons pushed their lead to their largest of the game at 16-9. From there though, it was the Thunder offense that would explode, going on a 7-0 run to tie the game. The two sides would exchange buckets to close out the half as Albion would hit a three with just over a minute to play to take a 26-25 advantage at the break.
The second half opened with the teams trading points and leads. It wouldn’t be until the Thunder took a 32-30 lead as Spragg finished off an and-one layup at the 16:17 that Trine would hold onto their lead for good. Over the next 7 minutes, the Thunder would go on a 17-8 run to push their lead to a game-high 11 points. Albion would cut the lead to just seven, but again the Thunder would answer back, scoring five straight points to again lead by double-digits. The Albion offense would come alive though in the final 3 minutes as they pulled with two with just 15 seconds remaining, but Loveberry would hit a pair of free throws with 11 seconds remaining to hold off the Britons rally.
Killingbeck led the Thunder with 19 points, 13 of which came in the second half. Killingbeck hit 8-of-15 from the floor, including three from behind-the-arc, while pulling down seven boards, swatting away three shots and making two steals. Spragg rallied in the second half, scoring 14 of her 16 points, and grabbing a game-high nine rebounds. Loveberry finished the afternoon with 10 points, four assists and a game-high three steals. In all, the senior trio scored 32 of the Thunders 34 points in the second half.
Sophomore Kelsey Henselmeier (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) led all players with five assists.
The Thunder out-shot Albion from the floor on the day, 23-of-59 (39%) to 19-of-49 (38.8%), but the Britons converted on 14 free throws compared to just six for Trine. The Thunder forced 20 Albion turnovers and turned them into 17 points.
The Thunder will take the week off and return to action on December 15 when they host Adrian at 3:00 p.m.
12/5 - Road Trip has Thunder Seeing Red
KENOSHA, Wis. - It was a tough night for the Trine University women’s basketball team as they fell 84-34 to a strong Carthage squad that is ranked 22nd in one poll and 28th in another. The Thunder fall to 3-4 on the season.
The two teams traded punches early on in the game as they exchanged seven leads through the first 10 minutes. Trine led by three on several occasions, the last as the Thunder were up 17-14 with 9:19 to play. From there though, the Lady Reds would not allow a Trine field goal for nearly eight minutes before sophomore Kayla Dunn (Larwill, Ind./Columbia City) hit a layup with 2:33 left in the half. By then though, Carthage had built a double-digit lead as they closed the half on a 16-3 run as the Lady Reds led 32-20 at the break.
The offensive struggles for the Thunder continued at the start of the second half. Senior Haley Killingbeck (Poneto, Ind./Southern Wells) would make the first points, a layup at the 19:00 minute mark. But the Thunder would hit just 1-of-17 to start the half as they went nearly 11 minutes without scoring. It would again be Dunn who ended the scoring drought, but Carthage had pushed their lead to 40 points as the Thunder were unable to recover.
Dunn led the Thunder with 10 points on the night while Killingbeck added in five points, four boards and two blocks. Sophomore Kelsey Henselmeier (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) led the way with four assists while she and senior Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading) also grabbed four rebounds.
It was a tough night from the floor for the Thunder as they made a season low 22.8 percent on 13-for-57 shooting. Carthage converted 33-of-63 (52.4%) from the floor on the night.
The Thunder will need to put the loss behind them quickly as they return to conference action on December 8 when they travel to Albion for a 3:00 p.m. game.
12/1 - Thunder Fall to #9 Flying Dutch
HOLLAND, Mich. - It was a tough second half for the Trine University women’s basketball team, scoring just 11 points as they fell 72-35 to ninth ranked Hope College. The loss drops the Thunder to 3-3 on the season and 0-2 in conference play.
After sophomore Kayla Dunn (Larwill, Ind./Columbia City) hit the opening points of the game, the Thunder held the early lead as the two sides traded buckets through the first 10 minutes of the half. With the Thunder leading by one at 16-15, the Flying Dutch would hit a pair of free throws and never look back. Hope would build to an 8-point halftime lead as the Thunder made just one basket, a three by senior Haley Killingbeck (Poneto, Ind./Southern Wells), in the final 6 minutes of the half.
Leading 30-22 at the break, Hope would score the first five points of the second half to take a double-digit lead. Senior Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) would hit a three to pull the Thunder within 10, but the Trine offense would be held scoreless over the next 5:55 before senior Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading) would hit a jumper. The damage had been done though as Hope led by 22 at that point as they would continue to build their lead to as much as 39 late in the game.
Spragg led the Thunder with a game-high 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting while swatting away two shots. Loveberry added in eight points, six of which came from downtown, while grabbing four rebounds. Sophomore Kelsey Henselmeier (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) led the Thunder with five rebounds while freshman Alivia Recker (Arlington, Ohio/Arlington) grabbed three steals.
Trine went to the free throw line just six times on the night, converting on two while Hope made 18-of-25 from the line. The Thunder hit just 20 percent (6-for-30) in the second half compared to 14-for-29 (48%) for Hope.
Trine will head out on the road for a non-conference battle with Carthage (WI) on December 5 for an 8:00 p.m. (est.) tip.
11/28 - Spragg Scores 38 but Thunder Fall to Comets
ANGOLA, Ind. - Trine University women’s basketball player Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading) came just two points away from tying a school record as she had 38 on the night, but the Thunder were unable to overcome a 13-point first half deficit to Olivet College as they fell 72-63. It was the first conference game for both teams as the Thunder drop to 3-2 on the season.
Spragg would score the first points of the night on a three as the two sides slugged it out early on. With the game tied at 13, Olivet would begin to pull away out-scoring the Thunder 15-5 with 7 minutes left in the half. Trine would cut to lead to six before the Comets would bounce back to go up by 15 before taking a 43-30 lead at the half.
The start of the second half wasn’t much nicer to the Thunder as Olivet push their lead to a game-high 17 points, leading 55-38 with 13:43 to play. Trine wouldn’t back down though as they fired back in just 3 minutes going on a 13-3 run. Trailing still by seven with 9:37 to play, the Thunder offense would score just three points over an 8 minute span as Olivet would push their lead back to 13. The Thunder would score six points in the final minute, but it would not be enough as the Comets would run the clock out.
Spragg finished her career night shooting 14-of-22 from the floor, including three from behind the arc, and 7-of-9 from the free throw line. Spragg also led the Thunder with six rebounds and game-high four steals. Fellow senior Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) led Trine with three assists while also pulled down six boards and adding in eight points.
Both teams were shooting solid from the floor all night as the Thunder hit 24-of-50 (48%) while the Comets shot 27-of-58 (47%). Olivet would hit a season-high nine three’s on the night, making 53 percent, while Trine converted just three. The Thunder scored 40 of their 63 points in the paint, 10 of which came off the fast break.
Spragg’s 38 points was the most by a Trine player since Sarah Howe scored 31 against Adrian on January 30, 2008. The current school record was set by Jill Reed against Spring Arbor on December 19, 1990.
Trine will look to bounce back as they travel to ninth ranked Hope College on December 1 at 3:00 p.m.
11/24 - Spragg, Loveberry Score Season-Highs in Victory
ANDERSON, Ind. - After combining to start the first and second half’s 14-0, the Trine University women’s basketball team out-lasted Anderson (IN) 63-59. The win improves to the Thunder to 3-1 on the season.
The Thunder sprinted out of the gate as they led early 7-0. Trine would not allow a Ravens point until 16:04. Anderson would tie the game at 13, but the Thunder responded with five unanswered points. Once again though the Ravens would tie the score late in the first half, and yet again Trine would respond with four straight points. Trine would close out the half on a 6-3 run to lead 33-26.
Just as they did in the first half, the Thunder sprinted out of the gates in the second half, extending the lead to their largest of the game. The Thunder started the half on a 7-0, to take a 40-26 lead. Anderson though would begin to claw their way back into the game as they went on a run of their own, out-scoring the Thunder 17-4 in an eight minute span to pull within one at 44-43 with 10:20 to go in the game.
Once again though, the Thunder offense would rebound by scoring five unanswered points to regain their hold. Leading by just three with under two minutes to go, senior Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading) drained her only trey of the game to push the Thunder lead to six. Anderson would make a jumper with under a minute, but the Thunder defense didn’t allow another points as the Ravens missed several attempts in the final seconds.
Spragg led all players with a season-high 19 points, nine boards and four steals while dishing out three assists. Fellow senior Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) also tallied a season-high with 18 points, including hitting four shots from behind the arc and grabbing four rebounds. Freshman Alivia Recker (Arlington, Ohio/Arlington) and senior Haley Killingbeck (Poneto, Ind./Southern Wells) each added in six points while Killingbeck swatted away a game-high four shots.
Anderson out-shot the Thunder from the floor, 40.7-to-32.2 percent, but Trine held the Ravens scoreless (0-for-12) from behind the arc. Trine also converted seven more free-throws (18-11) than Anderson.
Trine will return home to host Olivet for their MIAA conference-opener on November 28 with tipoff set for 7:30 p.m.
11/20 - Thunder Drop Defensive Battle
ANGOLA, Ind. - On a night where defense would play a key role, the Trine University women’s basketball team let a first half lead slip away, falling to Franklin College 53-45. The Thunder suffered their first loss of the season and drop to 2-1.
The Thunder defense held the Grizzlies scoreless through the first six minutes of the game before Franklin would score on a pair of free throws at 14:49, however the Thunder had scored just four points of their own at that point. The Thunder would push their lead to a game-high nine at 19-10 on a layup by sophomore Kelsey Henselmeier (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) with six minutes to play. Franklin would score just before the end of the half as Trine led 22-19 at the break.
The two sides would trade a pair of free throws to start the half before the Grizzlies tied the game for the first time at 24. After trading a pair of baskets, Franklin would take their first lead of the game at 28-26. The two teams would then trade baskets for the next 10 minutes as they traded leads five times. The game would slowly slip away from the Thunder as they made just one basket in the final six minutes of the game as Franklin tallied two buckets and seven free throws.
Henselmeier led the Thunder with a game-high 13 points and picking up five rebounds. Seniors Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading) and Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) each added in nine points. Spragg led the Thunder with a game-high five steals while grabbing five rebounds and making two blocks. Loveberry led the team with six boards while making three steals.
The biggest difference on the night came at the charity stripe as Franklin converted 22-of-30 attempts while the Thunder made just 7-of-10. For the game Trine shot 18-of-59 (30.5%) from the floor while Franklin made 15-of-48 (31.3%). The Grizzlies also out-rebounded the Thunder 47-to-31.
Trine will travel to Anderson (IN) for a non-conference game on November 24 for a 3:00 p.m. tip.
11/17 - Thunder Win Buffalo Tourny, Killingbeck Named MVP
BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Trine University women’s basketball team used a strong first half to power past Buffalo State to win the championship game of the Betty Abgott Invitational.
The Thunder built a 19 point lead at the half as they shot 44.8 percent from the floor (13-of-29) in the first period, including 50 percent from behind the arc and 90 percent from the charity stripe.
The Bengals would fight back in the second half, out-scoring the Thunder 35-24, but Trine was able to convert 13-of-16 from the free throw line in the half to seal the victory
Senior Haley Killingbeck (Poneto, Ind./Southern Wells) led the way for the Thunder with a game- and career-high 21 points, all of which came from behind the arc. Killingbeck hit 7-of-14 from downtown, just one shy of tying the school record, while collecting five rebounds and swatting away three shots. Killingbeck had what would have been the record-tying three waved off after officials called Trine for an illegal screen.
Senior Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) and sophomore Kelsey Henselmeier (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) each added in 11 points. Henselmeier pulled down six boards and dished out a team best four assists while Loveberry grabbed five boards a made a game-high five steals. Senior Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading) also scored in double-digits, adding 10 points to go along with a game-high nine rebounds.
Killingbeck was named the tournament MVP after combining for 29 points, 15 rebounds and 6 blocks in the two games. Henselmeier was also named to the All-Tournament team finishing with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
Killingbeck’s seven 3-point field goals were the most since Mindy Tilford also made seven against Kalamazoo on February 10, 2004. Tilford also holds the record with eight against Albion in 2005.
Trine returns to Angola to open their home schedule against Franklin on November 20 at 7:00 p.m.
11/16 - Thunder Win season-Opener
BUFFALO, N.Y. - In their first game under new head coach Steve Mix, the Trine University women’s basketball team took home the win in a close 64-58 victory over Alvernia University out of Pennsylvania. The Thunder advance to the championship game of the Betty Abgott Invitational where they will face host Buffalo State who defeated Alfred 70-48 at 2:00 p.m. on November 17.
Trine led 31-27 at the half, despite shooting 30.6 percent from the floor compared to 35.5 percent by the Crusaders. The first half was a seesaw battle before the Thunder scored the final two buckets of the half to take the lead into the break.
The Thunder maintained their lead throughout the second half, leading by as many as eight.
Senior Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading) led Trine with 15 points on the night while pulling down nine boards. Sophomore Kelsey Henselmeier (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) added in 13 points to go along with a game-high six assists and grabbing six rebounds. Fellow sophomore Kayla Dunn (Larwill, Ind./Columbia City) also added in 10 points and five rebounds. Senior Haley Killingbeck (Poneto, Ind./Southern Wells) grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds while also blocking three shots and adding in eight points.
11/1 - Thunder Picked Eighth in MIAA Preseason Poll
ANGOLA, Ind. - In their first year under former NBA All-Star Steve Mix, the Trine University women’s basketball will have a lot to prove after they were picked to finish eighth in the preseason MIAA coaches’ poll.
Defending MIAA co-champion Calvin received eight of the nine first-place votes. The other co-champion Hope was picked to finish second in the poll with a single first-place vote with Albion third.
The Thunder return three starters and 10 total players from team a season ago that finished seventh in the conference despite an overall record of 11-14 and was third in the MIAA in defensive average. The squad also knocked off then #15 Hope in their final home game of the season.
The team expects big things for the upcoming season, but must replace four-year starting point guard Danielle Senf. Trine will look to a pair of young players in sophomores Kayla Dunn (Larwill, Ind./Columbia City) and Kelsey Henselmeier (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville) to step up and lead the team at the position.
Mix will look to the trio of senior returning starters Sydney Spragg (Reading, Mich./Reading), Megan Loveberry (Quincy, Mich./Quincy) and Haley Killingbeck (Poneto, Ind./Southern Wells) to lead Trine to their first winning season since 2002-2003. The three combined to average 27.2 points per game for the Thunder last season. Spragg led the squad in points and rebounds per game while Loveberry was second on the team in points and Killingbeck led the Thunder in blocks.
The Thunder will also look to junior Megan Engle (Parker City, Ind./Monroe Central) and sophomore Amy Newell (Three Rivers, Mich./Three Rivers), a transfer from Division I University of Toledo, to help the Thunder improve their 50.6 point per game from a season ago, which was the lowest in the conference. Senior Aleesha Bullock (Indianapolis, Ind./Ritter) and juniors Hannah Hewes (Fremont, Ind./Fremont) and Lauren Tait (Syracuse, Ind./Wawasee) will also look to contribute off the bench for the Thunder.
The Thunder will begin their season with an exhibition game at Division I Western Michigan on November 7 before opening their regular-season on the road at Buffalo State for a tournament beginning November 16. Trine will open their home schedule on November 20 when they host Franklin College.
Women's Poll Results (First-place votes in parenthesis): 1. Calvin (8) 8 pts. 2. Hope (1) 15 pts. 3. Albion 26. 4. Adrian 34. 5. Olivet 37. 6. Saint Mary’s 43. 7. Alma 46. 8. Trine 51. 9. Kalamazoo 64.
4/2 - Retired NBA player Picked to Lead women’s basketball
ANGOLA, Ind. - A retired NBA sports legend, successful entrepreneur, and television and radio commentator will take the helm as Trine University’s head women’s basketball coach.
Steve Mix will head to Trine after more than 25 years of coaching, scouting and broadcasting experience and 13 years of professional basketball experience. Mix was a forward with a 13-year career from 1969-1972 and from 1973-1983. He played for the Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers all of the NBA and the Denver Rockets of the ABA. Mix represented the 76ers in the 1975 NBA All-Star Game. He made it to the NBA Finals four times during his illustrious career.
“We are pleased and excited to welcome Coach Mix to Trine University,” said Trine University president Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D. “He brings a wealth of knowledge of the sport, as a player, coach and scout. He has a keen ability to hone in on players’ strengths and take them to the next level.”
Most recently, Mix has served as the assistant director of the Toledo Elite Women’s AAU Program, where he helped numerous players reach their goals of playing college basketball. He is the owner and president of Steve Mix Basketball Academy and Camps and the president of Find a Way, a nonprofit organization that helps Toledo Public School athletes.
Mix will cultivate high school coach relationships to maximize recruiting efforts and ensure the Lady Thunder continue to improve their game. This year the team started the season 6-0, their best start since 1996-97, when they also started the year 6-0. Senior Danielle Senf broke her own school record for steals, picking up 11. Although the team didn’t qualify for the MIAA tournament, they secured a double-digit winning season for the third time in the last four seasons.
“I am excited to be a part of the Trine University athletic community. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to build my own program and reaching championship level at Trine,” Mix said. “It’s a thriving campus with serious student-athletes. I have no doubt that with my experience in the sport and their hard work and determination, the Lady Thunder can meet with success.”