INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Behind Sarah Miller-Jennings’ 16 second half points, the No. 22 HU women’s basketball team (6-2, 1-1) pulled away from the Knights in the final ten minutes to post an impressive 63-53 road win over #RV Marian University (5-2, 0-2) Wednesday night.
It was a defensive brawl that didn’t disappoint as both teams entered the contest allowing less than 60 points per outing. To no one’s surprise, turnovers proved to be the difference in the game as the opportunistic Foresters tallied 28 points off 23 Knight miscues while Marian mustered only five points from ten HU turnovers.
Both teams finished with 21 field goals but Culler’s squad found themselves at the line more than twice as often as MU, outscoring their Crossroads rival 20-8 from the charity stripe. The Foresters connected on 90.9 percent of their attempts (20-for-22) with Miller-Jennings going a perfect 9-for-9.
The first half was a dog fight that featured 12 lead changes and two ties. Up 27-25 with just under a minute remaining in the period, the Knights looked like they would be the clear favorites heading into the locker room as they scored two quick buckets to take their largest lead of the half at 32-25 but a resilient Forester squad made sure that wasn’t the case.
Pazia Speed knocked down two freebies and after a Knight turnover, Lauren Meese took the ball the length of the floor for a buzzer-beating layup that trimmed the lead to three at 32-29.
Marian came out firing in the second half to balloon the lead to eight at 41-33 within the first five minutes but a quick timeout was all the Foresters needed to turn things around. HU pieced together a 12-5 run that featured a pair of old-fashioned three point plays by Speed and Miller-Jennings to put the visitors back on top 45-43.
Lakan Hasser-Smith answered with her third and final trey of the contest on the next possession to reclaim the lead at 46-45 by the midway point of the half but it proved to be the Knights’ last highlight of the night.
The Foresters’ stifling zone came up with stop after to stop to limit MU to seven points the rest of the way. HU closed out the contest with equally impressive numbers on the other end of the floor by going 6-for-11 from the field and 5-for-6 from the line while committing only one turnover to run away with the double digit victory.
Miller-Jennings finished with a game-high 22 points. Lauren Meese added 12 points and a game-best five steals while Pazia Speed tossed in 11 points.
Jaclene Bonnema provided valuable minutes off the bench. The 6-2 freshman scored six points, ripped down four boards, swiped three steals and dished out two assists while altering numerous shots with her presence in the paint.
Hasser-Smith topped Marian with 15 point while Whitney Emerson finished with a double double of 12 points and a game-high ten rebounds.
Huntington is back in the friendly confines of Platt Arena Saturday afternoon when they host #RV Grace College at 1:00 p.m.