ANGOLA, IN - Junior Kelsy Taylor scored a double-double in a battle of top-three teams in the nation as the Trine University women's basketball team fell short of Hope College, 63-59, in a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association game at the MTI Center.
Taylor scored 12 points on five-of-seven shooting (71.4 percent) and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to complete the double-double. Sophomore Alyssa Argyle led Trine in scoring with a game-tying and career-high 17 points on six-of-eight shooting (75.0 percent), including going three-of-five (60.0 percent) from behind the three-point line.
Junior Kaylee Argyle had a game-high five assists to round out the statistical leaders.
The two teams combined for 11 lead changes and five ties in the game, but both offenses struggled in the first quarter as Trine (11-2, 5-1 MIAA) shot 26.7 percent (four-of-15) from the floor and Hope (11-0, 5-0 MIAA) converted just 16.7 percent (two-of-12) of its shots. The game remained scoreless until the 8:36 mark of the period when a layup by Taylor put Trine on the board with an early lead. Neither squad led by more than a couple of points in the quarter as the team's traded leads throughout. Hope won the scoring margin in the frame by a slim one-point margin, 10-9, with six of its points coming at the charity stripe, including the final point of the quarter that made it a 10-9 game after the first 10 minutes.
The Flying Dutch scored the first seven points of the second quarter to complete an 8-0 scoring run and move ahead on the scoreboard, 17-9, with 6:32 to go in the half. The eight-point margin was the largest of the period for Hope and later matched its large lead with a little under two-and-a-half minutes left by a score of 22-14. Back-to-back layups by Taylor then narrowed the deficit for the Thunder to four points which would also be the margin at halftime following a layup by junior Rachel Stewart to end the scoring and sent the teams into the locker rooms with Hope leading, 24-20.
Offenses picked up in the second half and momentum began to swing in Trine's favor as the Thunder outscored the Dutch, 22-16, in the third quarter. A jumper by Taylor and a triple by Alyssa Argyle to start the period gave Trine its first lead since the 4:21 minute mark of the opening quarter by a 25-24 margin. Hope then responded with a 13-2 run to go up by 10 points, 37-27, with 5:42 remaining. But Trine responded with six unanswered points of its own thanks to three-pointers by Kaylee Argyle and junior Kayla Wildman to get back to within four points, 37-33, at the 3:23 mark. Hope later connected on a three-pointer to extend the lead to seven points when Trine rallied again and ended the period on a 9-0 run that ended with a layup by junior Makayla Ardis and gave the Thunder a 42-40 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Wildman started the scoring in the fourth with a layup which gave Trine a four-point edge, 44-40, its largest lead of the game, with 9:28 to go. Hope came back with an 8-0 run to go up by four points and later led by six points, 53-47, following a pair of free-throws with 4:33 left in regulation. Momentum continued to swing back-and-forth between the teams as two freebies by Alyssa Argyle sparked a 10-3 Trine run and put the Thunder out ahead, 57-56, with two minutes on the clock. A jumper by Hope, followed by a layup, gave the Dutch a three-point margin with a little over 30 seconds to go and then put the game away at the free-throw line with three-of-four successful attempts to lead by six points, 63-57, with 14 seconds. Alyssa Argyle tallied the final points of the game on a layup, but it was Hope who came away with the four-point victory by a final of 63-59.
Trine will wrap-up the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 27 against Albion College in the MIAA finale in Albion, Mich. The game is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.
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