by Alan Babbitt
The Hope College women's basketball team clawed back from a slow start, only to see the opposing Trine Thunder strike again.
No. 11-ranked Trine dominated the second and third quarters to take Wednesday's showdown of nationally ranked teams, 73-61, at DeVos Fieldhouse.
No. 5 Hope fell into a second-place tie in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association standings with a 3-1 record. The Flying Dutch (11-2 overall) join Albion College and Calvin College one game behind Trine (11-2, 4-0 MIAA).
Trine outscored Hope 22-11 during the second quarter and 25-16 during the third quarter.
The Thunder scored the first seven points of the game. Hope rallied to take a 14-13 lead on two free throws from sophomore guard Sydney Muller of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Grand Rapids Christian HS) with 2 minutes, 57 seconds remaining in the opening frame.
A jumper from sophomore forward Olivia Voskuil of Holland, Michigan (Holland Christian HS) two minutes later made the score 17-16 Trine at the end of the first quarter.
"To our credit, I thought we closed it down. At the end of the first quarter, I felt good about where we were at," head coach Brian Morehouse said. "Then I don't know if they missed a shot in the second quarter. They shot 58 percent in the first half, and that's really difficult to recover from."
Trine shot 67 percent from the field (18-27) during the second and third quarters, including 58.3 percent from 3-point range (7-12).
Guard Brandi Dawson topped the Thunder with a game-high 21 points on 64.3 percent shooting (9-14). Six Thunder players finished with at least eight points.
Sophomore guard Kenedy Schoonveld of Zeeland, Michigan (Holland Christian) led Hope with 18 points and six rebounds.
Voskuil scored 10 points. She also grabbed six rebounds.
Hope's next game is Saturday, January 5 at Kalamazoo College. Tipoff is 3 p.m.