For the first time since the University of St. Francis joined the Mid-Central Conference in the 1994-95 season, the NAIA Division II 16th-ranked Huntington University Foresters swept the two-game series against the Cougars with a 60-46 victory on Senior Night.
The Foresters jumped out to an early 10-2 lead over the first five minutes of play, but St. Francis stepped up its defense and drew even with HU at 12-12 at the 12:08 mark. The Cougars manufactured a 7-2 run to take their largest lead of the contest at 19-14. Forester guard Sarah Miller knocked down a three to end the spurt and the two teams played to a 25-25 tie at intermission.
HU jumped back in front scoring the first five points of the second half, but again St. Francis reined in the Foresters and knotted the score at 36-36 with 11:41 to play. HU’s Brita Kuiper broke the tie with an eight foot jumper and sparked a 12-4 run to give the Foresters some breathing room at 48-40. Stacia Shepherd cut it to six on a driving layup, but Courtney Beerbower answered with a layup of her own on HU’s next possession. A Miller layup at the 2:25 mark put the Foresters up nine and then the parade to the foul line began. HU knocked down eight of 13 charity tosses while holding the Cougars to just three points down the stretch to seal the win.
Miller topped three Foresters in double figures with 15 points. Beerbower finished with her sixth double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds and Jenna Donaldson chipped in 11 points. Playing in her last regular season home game, senior Lauren Davenport tallied nine points and a game-high seven assists in the game. Jamika Banks was the lone player to reach double digits for St. Francis. She supplied a double-double with 18 points and 12 boards.
The Foresters’ defense was the key to the game. They held the MCC’s leading scorer, Marie Kaufman, to just eight points and allowed St. Francis to shoot just 34% from the field. HU also out-scored the Cougars 18-8 at the free throw line.