Women’s hoops start off season with three wins

The Trinity women’s basketball team opened up the 2013-2014 season with a 69-50 win over Moravian (PA) College on Friday, Nov. 15, and then wrapped up its part in the Southwestern Tip-Off Tournament with an 84-62 win over Hardin-Simmons University on Nov. 16. In addition, the Trinity Tigers women’s basketball team opened its home campaign with a 91-78 victory over the Wayland Baptist Flying Queens on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

The Tigers held a 32-25 lead at the half, despite shooting just under 31 percent in the opening period during their match against Moravian.  Trinity hit 5 of 12 three-point baskets in the half to stay in front.  The second half was better, though the team still shot less than 40 percent.  The Tigers hit 15-15 from the free throw line in the game, including 12-12 in the decisive second half.

Sophomore forward Anecia Richardson led all players with 25 points for the Tigers, connecting on 11-18 from the field and 3-3 from the foul line.  She also picked up five rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals.

“Our preparation is always good.  We work hard to address all of the things that we will be faced with from a tactical standpoint.  I feel like that is 100 percent our job as coaches.  The cool thing about this team is that the players have focused, learned and retained everything we have worked on in our preparation for playing games and it has really paid off,” said head women’s basketball coach Cameron Hill.

Trinity improved to 2-0 on the season during their next game against Hardin-Simmons, shooting just under 50 percent from the field in the game, and holding the Cowgirls under 40 percent shooting overall.  The Tigers led 39-23 at the half, then connected on 19-31 (61.3 percent) from the field in the second period to finish off the victory.

Sophomore guard Caitlin Barrett led four Trinity players in double figures, knocking down 7-8 from the floor for a game-high 19 points.  She also had four assists and three steals in the game.

Coley scored 15 points to go with four rebounds in just 20 minutes of action, while Murphy Burns had 13 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Tigers.

Junior guard Lauren Splawn came off the bench with 10 points, hitting 2-3 three-pointers to lead the Tiger reserves. Senior forward Libby Kruse had eight points, a game-high nine rebounds, and a team-best five assists.

“Whatever happens with wins and losses and titles and all that will be a direct reflection of how well we work and play together and how badly we want to become the best team we can be,” Hill said.

Richardson led the team with 21 points, hitting 10-14 from the field. Richardson was also selected as the first Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Basketball Player of the Week this season, after she exhibited a stellar performance last weekend.

“I was really excited that I got player of the week. It is a great honor to receive and pushes me to try to be even better for the weeks to come,” Richardson said.

Richardson began the campaign with a strong game against Moravian, which included 11-18 shooting and five rebounds. Richardson scored six points against Hardin-Simmons, on 2-of-4 shooting. She also pulled in three rebounds and blocked three shots.

The Tigers remained undefeated with a 3-0 record following the home opener against Wayland Baptist. Wayland Baptist, a member of NAIA Division I, dropped to 2-3. Trinity set the tempo of the game in the first half, with a 49-28 lead at the half. The Tigers hit 53 percent in the first half, while the Queens made 42 percent of their shots. Wayland Baptist’s last lead of the game (17-16) occurred with 11:36 remaining in the first half. The Tigers posted their largest lead of the matchup (48-26) at the 1:49 mark in the opening half.

“It felt great to get a win over Wayland Baptist. We shot the ball very well and played great defense for the majority of the game. Starting off the season with three wins gives us a lot of momentum going forward but we know that we have to take it one game at a time,” said junior guard Hannah Coley.

The Tigers continued to dominate in the second half, with 68 percent shooting. Trinity led by as much as 21 points in the half, and Wayland Baptist could get no closer than 11 points, which came late in the game.

Trinity scored a season-high in points, shot 59 percent (34-58) from the field, 38 percent (6-16) beyond the arc and 74 percent (17-23) at the charity stripe. Wayland Baptist hit 43 percent (29-67) from the field, 31 percent (4-13) in 3-point range and 70 percent (16-23) at the free throw line.

“Our main goal is to win every game. In addition to winning, we want to try to recreate what we did well and learn from our mistakes. We want to be playing our best towards the end of the season and we can use each regular season game to do that,” Coley said.

The Queens held a 37-34 advantage in total rebounds, but Trinity hit the defensive boards for a 25-18 edge.