Colorado Springs, Colorado - The 22nd-ranked women's basketball team used a fourth quarter rally to defeat Southwestern (TX) University 80-74 and earn their third consecutive Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship.
After a strong third quarter performance by Southwestern left Trinity down 61-55 going into the final quarter, the Tigers rose to the challenge to take the tournament title. Trinity scored seven unanswered points to start the quarter and regain the lead for the first time since early in the third.
Southwestern responded with its first points of the quarter to regain the lead, but Trinity drained back-to-back layups to get back in front. The Pirates were able to tie the game 68-all with 2:37 remaining in the game, but the Tigers picked up five quick points to take control with just over a minute left. Although the Tigers didn't score another field goal, Trinity made seven free throws to hold onto the game and come away with the win.
In the first quarter, Trinty got ahead quickly, but Southwestern was able to make it a close 5-4 game with 6:46 left in the first. The Tigers closed out the quarter on a 16-6 run to make it a 22-10 game heading into the second.
Southwestern came alive second quarter on both ends of the floor. The Pirates defense limited the Tigers to just five points in the first four minutes of action, while their offense exploded with eleven points to cut the deficit to 27-21 with 6:05 remaining in the half.
Trinity's offense ignited with an 8-2 run to expand their lead to 12 points roughly two minutes later, but Southwestern responded with a 9-2 run of its own to make it just a 37-36 Tiger lead going into the locker room.
The explosive offense continued for Southwestern in the third quarter, as they scored the first 12 points of the second half to go up 48-37. The Tigers were able to cut the deficit to four with 1:11 remaining in the quarter, but the Pirates were able to hold onto to their lead going into the final stanza.
Trinity now sits at 23-3 this season, while Southwestern dropped to 14-14 with the loss. The Tigers swept all three of their games against the Pirates this season.
This marks the third consecutive conference title for the Tigers, and the fourth in six years under head coach Cameron Hill. With the win, Trinity will also receive the SCAC's automatic bid to the NCAA tourament.
Micah Weaver led all players with 25 points, shooting 8-17 from the field and 7-10 from the charity stripe. Weaver also grabbed an outstanding nine rebounds, four assists and two steals. After earning SCAC Co-Player of the Year last night, Weaver was named SCAC Tournament MVP after this evening's win. She also became the fifth player in school history to score 500 or more points in one season.
Abby Holland joined Weaver on the All-Tournament team after picking up 17 points and eight rebounds of her own.
Mollie Hughes rounded out the Tigers on the All-Tournament team. Hughes pitched in 10 points in just 27 minutes of action after getting into some foul trouble.
Julia Ackerman was the only other Tiger to reach double-digit scoring with 13 points on 4-9 shooting from the field and 3-7 from beyond the arc.
Trinity will await official word from the NCAA, which will air their Division III Women's Basketball Selection Show on Monday, February 26th at 2:30 p.m. (ET) on NCAA.com.