San Antonio - Trinity's women's basketball team opened up its Holiday Classic with a 67-55 victory over Hendrix (AR) College on Friday night.
Trinity sprinted to a 7-1 lead less than two minutes into the game and never trailed the entire contest. Hendrix trailed by just five points with just over five minutes left in the period, but the Tigers finished the quarter with a 17-5 scoring run that made it a 27-15 game after one.
The second quarter began with back-to-back buckets by Hendrix to cut the lead to eight, but Trinity scored the next five points to push the lead back to double digits, and then later scored seven straight points to make it a 39-23 game with 3:43 left in the half. The lead went as high as 18 points, but Hendrix hit a three-pointer in the final minute to make it a 45-30 Trinity lead at the break.
Less than three minutes into the second half, the Tigers had increased that lead to 20 points. Trinity slipped in front 57-36 with just over five minutes left in the third quarter, but it would prove to be the team's final points of the period. Hendrix scored just seven points over that stretch, but still managed to pull within 14 by the end of the quarter.
The Warriors continued to chip away in the fourth quarter, but couldn't get any closer than eight points in the final minutes. After Hendrix cut the lead to just nine (52-61), Emily Daniel hit a clutch shot with 2:09 to play to keep the Tigers in control.
Hendrix hit another three-pointer to make it 63-55 with under two minutes left, then Trinity had a turnover and a foul to send the visitors to the free throw line with a chance to get even closer with 75 seconds remaining. The Warriors missed both foul shots, though, and the Tigers held Hendrix scoreless over the final 1:49. Trinity was just 4-8 at the foul line down the stretch to keep the game within reach, but Jordan Rudd knocked down the final two free throws with 11 seconds left to seal the win.
The Tigers improved their record to 7-3, while the Warriors dropped to 6-4.
Emily Daniel poured in a career-best and team season-high 26 points, shooting 8-18 from the field, 3-8 beyond the arc, and sank 7-10 free throws.
First-year Kelly Simmons came off the bench and accounted for 10 boards, the best of her initial collegiate season, and scored six points in the process.
Julia Ackerman accounted for four steals and three assists and chalked up six points in her column.
Trinity's defense forced 27 turnovers and recorded 15 steals in the game, holding the Warriors to just 32.1% shooting and 5-24 (20.8%) from three-point range.
The Tigers resume their part in the tournament on Sunday evening, hosting Louisiana College at 5:00 p.m.