Tigers tear up the competition at no. 1

Trinity Women’s basketball remains undefeated after first two games of 2023


Trinity women’s basketball extended a 19-game win streak in their first two home games of the spring semester, maintaining their perfect record throughout the season. The Tigers’ dominant performances on the weekend (a 96-46 W vs. Centenary and a 96-38 W vs. St. Thomas) followed a no. 1 national ranking in NCAA Division III, with Transylvania and Christopher Newport rounding out the top three.

The Tigers have been dominant this season, outscoring their opponents by over 26 points on average and shattering the school record for most points in a single game in their first game. According to Head Coach Cameron Hill, their success has not been much of a shock.

“It wasn’t a surprise at all,” Hill said. “The way we finished the season last year and the people coming back have been integral parts of the program and our culture. How we’ve handled our schedule speaks for itself, and we’ve had great games at home and on the road.”

One of the returning players this season is senior Ashlyn Milton, who currently leads the team in points (15.0 points per game) and has passed several milestones. After breaking the 1,000 career point threshold in a 78-69 win on Dec. 21, she followed it up with a 21-point outing against Austin College to break the school record for most career three-pointers. Despite the achievements, Milton has kept her focus on the games at hand.

“It’s a cool moment, but that’s just it. It’s a moment,” Milton said. “Playing this game comes with many of those, and I’m grateful for that throughout my entire career. It’s awesome to play a sport your whole life and then accomplish things where you leave your legacy. It’s cool to be surrounded by people that support me while I do that.”

Alongside Milton on the court is Maggie Robbins, who leads the team in assists, steals, offensive rebounds and minutes. Along with a pair of SCAC Player of the Week awards, the junior out of Plano, Texas has become a staple of the team’s box score. However, she credits her stats to the team’s success rather than her own.

“No matter what my statline is, I couldn’t do anything without my teammates,” Robbins said. “I only have so many assists because they are able to finish, only have so many steals because we trust each other to have one another’s back in case someone gets beat. All of my achievements so far have been because of them.”

The team recently earned a no.1 national ranking in NCAA’s Division III basketball standings, following a top-six rank in the preseason. This season has seen wins over Hardin-Simmons (ranked no. 18 at the time), Mary Hardin-Baylor (#12/16) and Puget Sound (#14/20), which has only solidified their position in Division III’s elite.

“It’s an incredible accomplishment that we’re grateful to achieve,” Coach Hill said. “Regardless of what people think, this team can compete with anyone in the country. This validates the attitude we’ve had since we started practice at the beginning of the season.”

While the team has achieved its goal of being no. 1, Milton said that there are still goals to achieve and maintain – like staying in the no. 1 spot.

“Being ranked number one is gratifying, but above all, it’s been a motivator,” Milton said. “That’s our goal and what we want to do, but it’s great to see your name next to that Number One. It’s also a reminder of what we’re here to do and to try to stay at the top. It’s one thing to get there but harder to stay there.”

In addition to the returning names, the team has also seen multiple new faces enter the team, either as first-years or transfers. Despite concerns about reworking the chemistry, Milton said that the new players have had a massive impact on the team’s culture and dynamic.

“I was kind of concerned when we lost the last class and with seven new people, thinking about the dynamic. But this team came together so easily, and I think everyone wants to focus on winning. The first-year class and transfers have come in with a competitive mindset and helped push us forward,” said Milton.

“Throughout the season, we’ve learned how to play with each other,” Robbins said, “We’ve learned about each other’s styles, and we’re still learning daily, which helps us on the court.”

The in-season improvements and adjustments have played a large part in Trinity’s success, which Coach Hill credits to the program’s culture.

“A lot of the credit goes into how competitive our practices are,” Hill said. “Our players are prepared to step in and contribute, and when that responsibility comes, they’re ready to plug whichever hole we need to fill. We’re at our 50th practice of the season, and it’s just as energetic as our first.”

Along with competitive practices, this year’s Trinity team has kept calm in tight games, including close wins over Hardin-Simmons and Puget Sound. It’s this drive that Milton credits with a lot of success.

“In my freshman year, whenever we got into a close game, it felt like we crumbled,” Milton said. “We lost our minds. We didn’t stay poised. On the other hand, with this team, there’s calmness and confidence whether we’re down or up. We’re on a team that has the same goal and mindset. No matter what we need, we’re not shaken, and it feels great to close out games. It’s a lot of fun to play.”