Trine Women’s Basketball Midseason Awards

         The hiring of new coach Steve Mix gave a sense of hope and optimism for Lady Thunder basketball. Offensive stagnation and below average rebounding was the primary downfall of last year’s team, which finished a disappointing 11-14. Trine has not won a conference championship in their history, largely due to the presence of national powers Hope and Calvin College winning or sharing the MIAA title every year since 1993. The first step towards finally obtaining one: get back to playing winning basketball. With a 9-9 record at the time of this writing, there is a chance that will be attainable this year. As a team, the numbers have shot up in virtually across the board, most importantly rebounding (+4.4 per game) and assists (+3.4 per game). Let’s take a look at some of the highlights this season:

MVP: Sydney Spragg (15.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.3 steals, 2.7 TO)

The senior forward is on pace for career highs in multiple categories, taking her talents to the next level.  Her scoring is up nearly five points per game, she is second on the team in rebound and assists, and is a smooth criminal too, racking up an eye popping 2.3 steals per contest. She is the player the team runs through nearly every possession, and without her, it’s hard to imagine that the team would be having the success they have had thus far.

Most Improved Player: Kayla Dunn (5.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 1.0 steals)

As a sophomore, guard Kayla Dunn has taken off under the tutelage of Coach Mix. She has started 16 of 18 games this season after playing in just seven total the year before. Her minutes have gone up (23 a game vs. 16 last year), but has matched the production in the process. She is an important part of the team and should blossom even more after the graduation of Sydney Spragg and Megan Loveberry after this season.

Rookie of the Year: Alivia Recker (4.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 1.4 steals)

This is a close race with Kelcey Swisher, but I went with freshman guard Recker due to her overall numbers being better than Swisher except in shooting percentage. She is only receiving 18 minutes a game but is putting up solid numbers, and is a key player off the bench. With upperclassmen eating up lots of opportunities, she will like Dunn continue to ascend once the top three players statistically speaking on the team (seniors Spragg, Loveberry, Killingbeck) have played out their careers.

Game of the Year (so far): Trine defeats Adrian, 46-41, 12/15/2012

While it was not pretty in any sense of the word, Trine fought and scrapped with the Bulldogs and came out on top in the end, 46-41. Despite 23 turnovers and not taking the lead for the first time until more than 33 minutes in, the Thunder stuck around thanks to their defense. Trailing early 10-1, they erased the deficit by forcing 25 turnovers of their own, including a remarkable 16 steals that eight different Lady Thunder players came up with. Senior forward Syndey Spragg was magnificent, posting 25 points, six rebounds, three assists, and four steals as Trine won their second conference game on the season.

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