Wednesday women: Thunder road warriors

More news about: Marietta | Trine | Wheaton (Ill.)
Hannah Frazier and the Wheaton defense stifled No. 14 Illinois Wesleyan in the teams' CCIW showdown on Wednesday night.
Photo by Jason Reblando, Illinois Wesleyan University

The No. 11 Trine Thunder and the Wheaton Thunder each posted road wins against higher ranked conference opponents on Wednesday night and Marietta joined them as the 2019 portion of the Division III women's basketball season got into full swing.

Trine bounced back from Saturday's loss in a big way by defeating No. 5 Hope 73-61 at DeVos Fieldhouse and taking over first place in the MIAA. After a tight first quarter, Trine (11-2, 4-0 MIAA) caught fire in the middle two periods and built an insurmountable lead. The Thunder shot 66.7 percent in the middle two periods (18-for-27), including making 7 of their 12 3-pointers. Hope outscored Trine 18-9 in the final period, but that just reduced the Thunder's margin of victory.

All-American Brandi Dawson led Trine with 21 points on 9-for-14 shooting. The Thunder host the Flying Dutch (11-2, 3-1 MIAA) in their rematch on Jan. 26.

Wheaton (Ill.) seized first place in the CCIW by edging No. 14 Illinois Wesleyan 56-54 and ending the Titans' nine-game winning streak. The game was tied with under a minute to play when Devin Kyler's 3-pointer gave the Thunder (10-3, 4-0 CCIW) a 55-52 lead. The Titans (11-3, 4-1 CCIW) missed two 3-pointers on their next possession and Hannah Frazier grabbed the rebound for Wheaton. She split two free throws after being fouled so Illinois Wesleyan could do no better than halving the deficit on its final possession.

The Thunder held the Titans more than 20 points below their season scoring average. Maddie Merritt scored 22 points in a losing cause for the Titans who will travel to Wheaton for the rematch on Jan. 30.

Trailing 62-59, BW sophomore forward Sydney Diedrich stepped into and drained a deep 3-pointer at the top of the key, tying the game with just seconds left. Marietta immediately called a timeout and devised a pick-and-roll play for Alexis Enochs for the go-ahead layup with 0.8 seconds left and Marietta tipped away the ensuing inbounds pass to secure the win. Shay Lett scored a game-high 15 points for Marietta (9-3, 4-1 OAC) in the 64-62 win. Enochs and Marlo Taylor each posted 12 points apiece. Rachel Womeldorf scored a team-high 14 points for Baldwin Wallace (10-2, 4-1).

Already standing 19-0, No. 2 Thomas More is running out of dates on which it can play Division III schools. The Saints rolled past Pikeville, an NAIA member, 70-37. The Bears fell to 11-5. Thomas More will host future conference foe Lindsey Wilson on Thursday, play two games in Texas over the weekend and then will not play again until Jan. 26.

The Kelly Williams-less Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets lost for the second time in three games, as Washington & Lee came away with the home win 81-77 in overtime. Andy Smithey led with 15 points and Jordan Diehl added 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Generals (7-5) in the victory. Williams left the Dec. 18 loss to Wartburg and has not returned.

WIAC play opened on Wednesday night, with No. 19 Oshkosh defeating Platteville, Eau Claire defeating River Falls, Whitewater topping Stevens Point and Stout defeating La Crosse. For Stout, it was a return to the win column after the Blue Devils' loss to UW-Superior, not a WIAC member, on Dec. 30. For La Crosse it was the Eagles' first loss of the season.

Fellow unbeaten-but-unranked squad Manhattanville also dropped its first game of the season, as the Valiants lost to Division II Nyack College 70-67. Kayleah McGuire scored 24 points for the Valiants (10-1).

Hanover snapped Rose-Hulman's 38-game conference winning streak and pulled itself into an early three-way tie for first in the HCAC by beating Engineers, 65-62. Alexis Nall scored a career-high 29 points on 13-for-20 shooting for the Panthers (8-4, 4-1 HCAC). Ally Bromenschenkel led Rose-Hulman (7-5, 4-1 HCAC) with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Those two teams sit atop the standings with Transylvania, which beat Earlham 69-58.

Hamline erased a seven-point deficit in the game's final 25 seconds and stunned St. Mary's 67-66 on Kaeli Stayer's three-pointer at the buzzer. Reilly Geistfeld scored six of her game-high 23 points in the Pipers' game-saving rally.