For the second straight season, the Tigers fell in the championship round of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament. After beating Austin College in the first round and upsetting Texas Lutheran University in the semifinals, they lost to the top-seeded Southwestern University in the championship.
Friday, Feb. 27, the Tiger women opened the tournament with a 63-56 win over sixth-seeded Austin College.
The Tigers held a two-point lead (26-24) going into halftime.
“The both times that we played them it has always been close at halftime. We knew that is the way it usually goes, and we just needed to keep playing,” said junior forward Anecia Richardson.
The game was tied at 54 with only three minutes left when senior guard Lauren Splawn made a three-pointer to put the Tigers up 57-54. The Tigers then outscored the Roos 6-2 to close out the game.
Splawn had 14 points going 5-10 from the field and 4-9 from beyond the arc. Richardson had 14 points shooting 4-6 from the field and grabbing five rebounds. Senior guard Hannah Coley added 13 points going 4-14 from the field, 3-10 from three and had five rebounds.
Senior forward Taylor Hollins also scored eight points while posting eight rebounds, which was the team best.
On Saturday, Feb. 28, it took an overtime period for the Tigers to secure the 91-78 win over the second-seeded TLU.
With the win, they avenged last season’s loss to the Bulldogs in the championship match.
“We just continued to execute our game plan. In the end it proved too much for them,” Coley said.
The Tigers went on an 18-7 scoring run in the opening minutes of the game, extending their lead to 22-9.
TLU answered with a run of their own later in the half to tie the score at 38 with just over two minutes left. The game was tied 42 all at halftime.
The Tigers had the 73-70 lead with 23 seconds, but Karisa Cantu of TLU hit a three-point shot with seconds left to tie it at 73 and send it to overtime.
In the overtime period, the Tigers outscored the Bulldogs 18-5 with junior guard Caitlin Barrett and Splawn scoring five points each in the period.
“We ended up fouling out two of their key players in the overtime, and that was really huge. They really didn’t have any kind of chemistry offensively without them, and we were able to leverage that down the stretch,” said head coach Cameron Hill.
Two Tigers scored over 20 points in the game. Richardson finished with a double-double, scoring 22 and hauling in a team best 13 rebounds. Coley scored 21 points going 7-16 from the field, 3-8 from three, 4-5 from the line, as well as adding six assists.
Hollins was in double figures with 13 points and seven rebounds. Splawn also scored 17 points.
On Sunday, March 1 Trinity lost 71-58 to Southwestern in the SCAC championship game.
Southwestern jumped out to an early 16-4 lead. In that span, the Tigers were 2-10 shooting from the field while the Pirates were 6-7.
“We just for the life of us could not get the ball in the basket. People are going to talk about three games in three days. That didn’t affect our enthusiasm to play or our energy levels””maybe it affected our ability to concentrate and make shots,” Hill said.
With six minutes left in the half, the Pirates had a 20-point lead (32-12). They maintained a sizable lead for the remainder of the half. Sophomore guard Monica Holguin made a three pointer in the final seconds to narrow the difference, but the Pirates held a 39-22 lead at halftime.
Southwestern had strong shooting in the half””60.9 percent from the field and 63.6 percent from three.
For the Tigers, it was one of their worst halves of basketball this season.
“Every time we played them our shooting percentage just seemed to fall by a lot. And we would get good shots; they were just not going in,” Richardson said.
With 1 minute and 20 seconds left in the game, the Tigers had cut it to single digits (56-65), but they were unable to overcome the 17-point halftime deficit.
Richardson led the team with 15 points, while Coley and Hollins finished with 13 points each.
Richardson and Coley were named to the All-SCAC first team for their contributions this season. Both were also named to the SCAC all-tournament team for their play during the weekend.