No. 6 Trine looks the part in a blowout win over Heidelberg
Heidelberg found itself up against it when the Student Princes faced No. 6 Trine University Monday night.
The Thunder used explosive starts to each of the first three quarters to dispatch Heidelberg, 71-46, in non-league action.
Trine (10-0) outscored the Student Princes 11-0 to open the first quarter and 8-0 in the second and third quarters to extend its lead over Heidelberg (3-7).
“It is very frustrating when you have those lulls,” Heidelberg coach Morgan Harrigan said. “We keep talking about not having back-to-back bad possessions, but there was a point in the second quarter where we had five straight turnovers where we did not even take a shot. It is hard to figure out what is working well on offense when all we do is turn the ball over.”
Brandi Dawson scored with 5:39 left in the first quarter — already giving her seven points — to start Trine with the first 11 points. By that point, the Student Princes had missed thier first five shots and committed three turnovers.
From there though, Heidelberg controlled the rest of the first quarter. Madelyn Crawford and Brittanie Ulmer scored around a Trine bucket. Leah Bouillon, a New Riegel graduate, made two free throws and added a bucket as the Thunder missed their last 10 shots of the quarter.
“I thought Heidelberg played really well and really hard,” Trine coach Ryan Gould said. “They crashed the boards and they really made us work for it. Our size inside really was the separator in the second half. Brandi is a great player and an all-American and played like one tonight.”
But, despite getting within 13-8 after one quarter, the Student Princes came no closer. Camille Lira scored before Katy Steers scored off of a steal for Trine. Then, Dawson scored twice more for a 21-8 lead. Heidelberg committed seven turnovers in the second quarter. Six of those came in the first four minutes of the quarter.
Ulmer drilled a 3-pointer to halt the momentum, but only for a moment. Hayley Martin made two free throws and Jayde Abenth hit a trey of her own to give the Thunder a 28-16 lead at halftime. Heidelberg made just 5 of 30 field goals in the opening 20 minutes.
“We had to get the ball in the basket,” Harrigan said. “You are not going to beat anyone shooting 16 percent as a team. Overall, our shooting is not productive.”
Trine repeated its successful start to a half with the first eight points of the third quarter. Dawson scored twice before scores from Shay Herbert and Lira pushed the Thunder’s lead to 36-16. Alyssa Riley, the Student Princes’ leading scorer at 11.9 points per contest, was held scoreless until she completed a three-point play with 1:54 left in the third quarter.
“Alyssa is as good as any guard that we have seen so far,” Gould said. “Cassidy Williams, for us, takes those things personally and she enjoys the defensive challenge. Cassidy closed out well and made her put the ball on the floor and that took her out of her rhythm and out of the game.”
Shelby Oldham’s jumper with 17 seconds left in the third quarter put Trine ahead, 50-29, after three quarters. Heidelberg opened the fourth quarter with a 9-2 run to get within 14 points, but could get no closer. The Thunder made 30 of 60 shots and had 11 steals compared to just one steal for the Student Princes.
“Turnovers led to a lot of easy baskets for them,” Harrigan said. “I was very proud of our rebounding effort and our half-court defense when we were able to actually set up in it. The turnovers led to easy baskets that we just could not come back from.”
Dawson had 28 points — 17 of which came in the second half. She added five rebounds while Herbert had nine points and six rebounds.
“We did try to get Brandi the ball more in the second half,” Gould said. “I thought we were very impatient in the first half. We did not reverse the ball enough and we took some early shots that we did not need to take. So we wanted to be patient and get more inside touches in the second half.”
Crawford led Heidelberg with 13 points and seven rebounds. Ulmer added nine points, while Riley had eight points. The Student Princes committed 20 turnovers.
“I think we need to take better care of the basketball,” Harrigan said. “We were intimidated at first by Trine when the game started. It was just too late when we realized we could play with them.”