GOSHEN, Ind. - It was a game where not much went right for the #22 Forester women’s basketball team (12-5, 4-2) and the Maple Leafs of Goshen College (4-14, 1-5) were thrilled to take advantage of HU’s off day by stunning their visitors with a 64-63 win Saturday afternoon at Gunden Gymnasium.
Coach Culler has posted 41 wins over Goshen in her career and this weekend’s loss marks only the eighth time she’s suffered defeat against the Maple Leafs. The loss also breaks a nine game winning streak over GC as the last time Goshen beat Huntington was back in January of 2009.
Credit Goshen’s scrappiness on both ends of the court in the first twenty minutes as they held HU to 28.1 percent shooting (9-for-32) while draining 45.2 percent (14-for-31) of their own shots to take a 31-23 lead into intermission.
The Foresters missed four shots and coughed up the ball three times in the opening three minutes of play before finally putting points on the board to find themselves in a hole which held the entire half. Huntington stayed within two buckets over the next ten minutes but it didn’t last as the Maple Leafs closed out the period on an 11-5 run to pad their advantage to eight by intermission.
After a chance to regroup at break, it looked like the tides would turn for HU as they scored the half’s first eight points to knot things up at 31-31 with less than two minutes gone by. But a determined GC squad weathered the Forester ambush and reeled off the next seven points to regain the lead, 38-31, by the 15:11 mark.
The battle continued as Huntington methodically chipped away at the deficit to finally take their first lead of the contest, 43-42, on a Miranda Palmer three ball at the midway point of the frame. The Foresters went on to stretch their lead to as many as seven with 7:37 to go but Goshen just wouldn’t go away thanks in large part to their work at the charity stripe.
Eleven of Goshen’s final 22 points came by way of the free throw line. Free tosses kept them within striking distance but it was three big buckets in the final two minutes that eventually got the best of Huntington.
Lynnia Noel’s tenth trey of the season couldn’t come at a more opportune time as she found nothing but the bottom of the net with just over two minutes remaining to pull her team within one at 61-60. With the shot clock winding down, Amelia Echemann answered with a shot from the elbow to give HU a three-point cushion.
The Maple Leafs scored down low on the next possession but this time HU didn’t have an answer setting the stage for Goshen’s come-from-behind victory. With 17.6 seconds remaining, GC again scored in the paint to take their first lead in over ten minutes. The Foresters got off two shots but couldn’t get either to fall as Goshen celebrated their first conference win.
Huntington shot 46.2 percent in the second half to finish the game at 36.2 percent (21-for-58). They connected on 19 of their 21 free throw attempts for 90.5 percent and committed 15 turnovers. Goshen topped out at 39.7 percent (23-for-58) from the field and sizzled the nets for 93.8 percent (15-for-16) at the line. GC tallied 17 miscues but outrebounded HU 40-33.
Pazia Speed finished with a game-high 23 points, 17 of which came in the final stanza. Courtney Baker added ten as HU’s only other double digit scorer. Amelia Recker ripped down nine boards to go along with eight points.
Noel topped Goshen with 18 points while Tyra Carver and Jo’Mani Thomas tossed in 16 and 12 points respectively.
The Foresters are back in action on Wednesday when they host Bethel at 7:00 p.m.