ANGOLA – Trine University’s women’s basketball team rallied from significant deficits twice against NCAA Division III top-ranked Hope twice Wednesday night.
But the Flying Dutch made more plays down the stretch in the final three minutes to defeat the third-ranked Thunder 63-59 in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association showdown at the MTI Center.
“It was a game worthy of its ranking,” Hope coach Brian Morehouse said. “No one was going to quit. Both teams have tough kids. I thought Trine’s coaches made great adjustments from game one.
“When Trine rallied, I told our team after the third quarter, ‘What did you expect?’ he continued. I brought them in and said let’s focus and have short memories. Let’s go all-in and keep the circle tight. It was a complete effort of team basketball.”
Hope remained undefeated and has the edge for the regular season championship and the No. 1 seed for next week’s MIAA Tournament.
The Thunder (11-2, 5-1 MIAA) clawed back from eight points down late in the second quarter to take a lead early in the third quarter. Trine scored the first five points of the second half, and Alyssa Argyle hit a three-pointer to put the Thunder up 25-24 with 8:18 left in the third quarter.
The Flying Dutch (11-0, 5-0) came right back as Kate Majerus hit a triple on the ensuing possession. That started a 9-0 run, capped by the first three points of the game by Hope’s leading scorer Kenedy Schoonveld at the 7:07 mark of the third to put the visitors up 33-25.
Trine was down 10 in the third quarter and rallied to take a lead. Makayla Ardis had a steal and a layup to in the final seconds of the quarter to put the Thunder in front 42-40.
The Flying Dutch went on a 13-3 run in the fourth quarter to take a 53-47 lead after sophomore Ella McKinney made two free throws with 4:31 left.
The lead changed hands four time the rest of the way. The last lead change was 58-57 on a McKinney layup with 1:09 left.
Then senior Lauren Newman had a steal and a layup to put Hope 60-57 with 35 seconds left. The Flying Dutch secured the win with free throws.
The Argyle sisters played huge down the stretch for Trine. Alyssa had 17 points and three assists. Kaylee Argyle had six points and five assists. Kelsy Taylor added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunder.
“I’m really proud of my kids. They fought their hearts out,” Trine coach Andy Rang said. “We showed a lot of resilience. We’re so close, I can almost taste it."
The Flying Dutch outrebounded Trine 43-33. Sydney Muller had 17 points and five rebounds and McKinney had 12 points.