(Story courtesy of Trinity University Athletics)
SAINT PAUL, Minnesota - The seventh-ranked Trinity women's basketball team fell 69-59 to #16 Whitman (WA) College Friday night in the NCAA Division III round of 16 at the University of St. Thomas.
The first quarter was tightly played with both teams battling for the lead. Trinity's largest advantage of the game (4-2) came with less than seven minutes remaining in the first stanza. Micah Weaver scored a buzzer beater three at the end of the first quarter to put the Tigers up 15-14.
The second quarter resulted in a strong defensive effort by both teams. After falling behind 17-22, the Tigers tied the game at 26-26 with 2:50 left in the first half. Over the final three minutes, the Blues held a slight 4-3 scoring advantage and led 30-29 at halftime.
Whitman jumped out to a 38-29 lead in the third quarter on an early 8-0 run. Weaver posted Trinity's first scoring play of the period with a layup at 5:19. With 3:27 to go, Weaver hit a jumper to put the Tigers within eight points of the Blues. Whitman continued to slip past the Trinity defense and led by 11 points at the 2:18 mark. The relentless Tigers went on an 8-2 run and closed to 42-47 at end of the third quarter.
The Blues took a nine-point lead, 54-45, with 7:34 remaining in the game. The Tigers closed to 50-54 on a free throw by Weaver at 6:14. Senior Monica Holguin sank two free throws at 3:24 as Trinity tightened to 52-59. The Tigers continued to battle as Weaver sank a three-point bucket to rally the team and bring the score to 59-63 with 1:14 remaining on the clock. It would unfortunately prove to be the final scoring play by Trinity.
The Tigers had their 14-game winning streak snapped and finished their 2017 campaign with a 28-2 record. The 28 victories tied the school record for one year set by the 2002-03 Tiger team, which won the NCAA Championship.
Trinity, which advanced to the Sectional for the first time since 2005, made its second consecutive trip to the NCAA Postseason. The Tigers also competed in the NCAA event for the third time in five years under fifth-year Head Coach Cameron Hill.
Weaver came off the bench to lead Trinity with a 16-points performance with 14 points coming in the second half. In her first year as a Tiger, she amassed an outstanding 473 points to move her to eighth in the single season record books.
Holguin posted her second straight double-double,with 15 points and 10 rebounds. She finishes this year with 461 points, the tenth most for a Tiger in a single season.
Abby Holland contributed 14 points and three steals. Holland finishes the season with 67 steals to her name, which places her in a tie for ninth in single season steals in the Tiger record books.
Senior Grace Horn amassed four assists, bringing her season total to 118. She finished her career ranked fifth in Trinity single-season assists and seventh in the career category with 258 in her column.