Seguin, Texas – Trinity's top-seeded women's basketball team was beaten 68-62 by host Texas Lutheran University in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Championship game on Sunday afternoon.
Texas Lutheran opened the game with five straight points to take the early lead and built that advantage to 16-8 with 4:31 remaining in the first quarter.
Both teams struggled to score over the final minutes of the quarter, but Trinity scored four of the final five points to cut a 19-10 lead down to just six points after one.
The Tigers managed just nine points in the second quarter, as Texas Lutheran stretched its lead to double figures by the half. Trinity got within five at 18-23, but the Bulldogs scored nine of the next 10 to go up by 13 points. That margin held by the end of the quarter with Trinity facing a 23-36 deficit at halftime.
After giving up an early basket to make it a 15-point game in the third quarter, Trinity turned things around in a big way. The Tigers started with a 13-0 run that cut the lead to just two points with 5:11 remaining in the quarter. The quarter ended with Trinity outscoring Texas Lutheran 23-11 and making it a 47-46 deficit with just 10 minutes left in the game.
Trinity lost the momentum to start the fourth quarter, though, going more than three minutes without a score. The defense kept things close by allowing just five points during that stretch to keep it a 52-46 game.
The Tigers finally got on the board with a couple of free throws, but TLU scored four quick points to push the lead back to eight with just over six minutes remaining.
Trinity's first field goal of the quarter didn't come until Emily Daniel hit a three-pointer with 4:23 to play, cutting the lead to six at 51-57. After a Tiger steal, Daniel drilled another three to make it a one-possession game with just under four minutes left.
That started a scoring run that wound up with Trinity getting 10 consecutive points to take a 58-57 lead with 2:51 to play.
Texas Lutheran quickly went back in front on its next possession and never gave up the lead again. The Bulldogs hit three consecutive buckets, while Trinity missed four in a row to make it a 63-58 game with 1:22 remaining.
After the Tigers made 1-2 at the line to get within four, Texas Lutheran scored again with 47 seconds left to push the lead back to six points. Trinity missed back-to-back threes on its next possession, and the Bulldogs got the ball back with 17 seconds to go.
Trinity did get a three-pointer in the final seconds to make it a 66-62 game, but Texas Lutheran made two free throws with six seconds left to clinch the win.
Trinity falls to 22-5 this season with the loss, while Texas Lutheran improves its record to 19-9 after winning for the second time in three meetings against the Tigers.
This also marks the fifth time the two teams have met in SCAC Tournament play, though this is the first tournament win for Texas Lutheran since the 2014 Championship.
Abby Holland led Trinity with 19 points and tied her career-high with 12 rebounds. She also picked up five steals, three assists, and a pair of blocks.
Emily Daniel scored 15 points to go with six boards and five steals and was the only other Tiger player to score in double figures.
Jordan Rudd tied her career-high with eight assists, adding seven rebounds and four points to her stat line.
Trinity was able to stay in the game despite shooting just 32.9% from the field overall and 24.1% (7-29) from three-point range. Texas Lutheran hit just over 47% of its shots and 44.4% (8-18) from distance.
Holland and Coleman were named to the All-Tournament team for their play this weekend.
Trinity will await a potential at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.