The Trinity women’s basketball team opened their season on a high note this past week, losing their first game but winning the next two.
“The games were really close and we did really well for having a new coach and a lot of new players,” said first-year forward Anecia Richardson.
The Tigers lost their season opener in a close 77-75 game against Hardin-Simmons University. Although down by as many as 19 points at one time in the first half, Trinity went on an 18-3 run to make it 36-32 at halftime. The Tigers led 75-74 with 1:11 to play, but Hardin-Simmons managed to score three more points to secure the win.
“We showed a lot of perseverance,” said sophomore guard Hanna Coley. “We were able to put pressure on the team and create a couple turnovers.”
Richardson went 5-5 with 16 points and contributed with a team-best six rebounds. Coley led the Tigers with 18 points and four assists, while junior guard Murphy Burns had 11 points and four assists. Junior forward Libby Kruse had eight points, and sophomore center Taylor Hollins had six points and five rebounds.
For Hardin-Simmons, Alexis Popelar dominated with 37 points overall.
“It’s pretty much a one man band and the rest of the team does a great job helping her be all that she can be,” said head coach Cameron Hill.
The Tigers came back on Sunday afternoon to finish the Trinity Thanksgiving Classic with a 79-71 win over Schreiner University. Despite a back and forth game in both halves, the Tigers pulled ahead in the second half, outscoring Schreiner 9-4 in the last five minutes
“It was a good team effort,” Coley said. “We connected on a lot more shots we were able to hit it when we had open shots, and we forced a lot of turnovers.”
Burns had 24 points for the Tigers, while Coley went 6-11 from the field with 17 points. Richardson maintained her perfect shooting, going 4-4 with 10 points and first-year guard Caitlin Barrett contributed with nine points and six rebounds.
“On Sunday, we did a much better job executing,” Hill said. “I think having one game under our belt made a big difference in our confidence.”
On Wednesday, Trinity traveled to Belton, where they defeated the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor 68-66. After taking the lead 6:11 minutes in, the Tigers were never behind for the rest of the game.
“We all took smart shots and worked together to get the win despite the foul trouble we were in the majority of the game,” Burns said in an email.
Richardson dominated with 23 points and five rebounds, while Burns went 2-4 in three-pointers, garnering 11 points. Coley had 11 points and seven rebounds, assists, and steals, and Barrett had nine points and five rebounds.
“We were able to really execute our defense and caused UMHB to turn the ball over,” Burns said.
Trinity kicks off conference play this weekend, competing against Centenary College on Friday night and Austin College on Saturday night.
“We’re just going to do our best and try to start out strong and try to win conference this year,” Richardson said.
Chloe Pope-Levison is a Sports reporter for the Trinitonian.