SPRING ARBOR, MICH. - In a game that came down to the final seconds, it was the visiting HU women’s basketball team who slipped past Spring Arbor University 48-46 to wrap-up a three-game week with back-to-back wins to move to 11-5 overall, 3-3 in the MCC.
While Saturday’s contest won’t land the Foresters any offensive accolades, there was no denying their grit and determination. Despite shooting 35.4% (17-for-48) for the game and committing 21 turnovers, HU willed their way to another nail-biting win. Five of Huntington’s last six wins have been decided by four points or less.
The first half was a low scoring affair as both teams struggled from the floor but it was the Foresters who edged in front 22-19 by the half’s end. Freshmen Liesl Davenport and Courtney Baker each tossed in six points to account just over half of HU’s offensive production while the Cougars were paced by Jessica Garrison’s seven points.
While the rims proved to be kinder to both teams in the final twenty minutes as each hovered around the 40% mark, points were still hard to come by as turnovers haunted both squads. The Foresters turned the ball over 13 times while the Cougars recorded 12 miscues.
Spring Arbor jumped ahead by as many as four on four different occasions but the Foresters always answered to stay within striking distance. Down 39-35 with just over eight minutes remaining, HU’s answer came by way of Allison Greene who drained her second trey of the night to spark a 7-0 run to put the Foresters on top 42-39 at the 5:23 mark.
The Cougars didn’t go down without a fight as they battled back to take a one-point lead at 45-44 with just over two minutes remaining but the visiting Foresters weren’t ready to throw in the towel just yet.
With just over a minute remaining, Kelsey Green got one of her two freebies to fall to knot things up 45-45. On the Cougars’ ensuing possession, Greene stripped the ball from Michaela Robichaud and raced down court where she was fouled and proceeded to convert one free throw to give HU a one-point lead with 41 ticks remaining.
In a scramble for the loose ball after a Cougar miss, the Foresters were whistled for a foul sending April Adams to the line where she made good on one of her free tosses to deadlock the score at 46-46 with ten seconds remaining. HU’s final answer came from Lauren Meese who weaved through traffic and laid the ball in with 2.7 seconds remaining for the game-winner.
Greene and Meese paced HU with 11 points and ten points respectively. Meese also snagged a game-high four steals. Green ripped down a team-high ten boards which included four on the offensive end. Garrison topped all scorers with 13 points while Audra Norris chipped in another ten. Robichaud finished with a game-high 13 rebounds.
The Foresters return home Wednesday night to take on MCC rival Goshen College at 7:00 p.m.