Solid second half lifts #24 HU past MVNU 72-50

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio – It was history in the making as the No. 24 Forester women’s basketball team logged the program’s first road win against Mount Vernon Nazarene University and did so in convincing fashion, a 72-50 decision, Saturday afternoon at Ariel Arena. 

With this win, HU (17-6) improves to 9-3 in Crossroads play and now shares the same league record with No. 4 Indiana Wesleyan who lost to Saint Francis earlier today 73-57. MVNU, meanwhile, drops to 3-18 overall, 2-10 in the conference.

Huntington has earned the reputation of being a second half team and today’s contest was a perfect of that. After trailing the entire first half, the Foresters quickly did an about-face in the final twenty minutes to turn a three-point halftime deficit into a 22-point blowout by game’s end.

HU opened the second period with a 9-4 spurt to take its first lead of the day at 43-41 by the 16:06 mark. Kelsey Hubble sparked the run in the first 90 seconds by slithering her way through the lane for a layup and draining her first of two treys to set the tone of what was to come.

Huntington enjoyed the lead the remainder of the game. Over the next eight minutes, HU’s backcourt accounted for all 21 of their team’s points to blow the game wide open at 64-46. It was some savvy shooting as Hubble connected on her second triple of the half while teammates Pazia Speed and Miranda Palmer also drained the long ball.

The Foresters continued to grow the lead over the final eight minutes, logging their largest advantage by the final buzzer.

Coach Culler and company would just as soon forget the first twenty minutes as nothing seemed to go right defensively for the visitors. After giving up a trio of triples in the first five minutes of play, HU found themselves in a 13-4 hole and spent the rest of the stanza playing catch up.

Offensively the Foresters were fine as Speed and Palmer scored 14 and eight points respectively to pace their team to 34 first half points. The trouble came on the other end of the floor where HU struggled to defend Mount Vernon’s penetration and gave up nine offensive rebounds much to the delight of MVNU who scored 14 points on second chance opportunities.

Things were looking bleak for Huntington until the final 2:31 of the period when they pieced together a 9-2 run to close the gap from a double digit spread of 35-25 to a three-point difference of 37-34 by intermission.

As poorly as HU’s defense was in the first half, they more than made up for it in the second period by holding their hosts to just 13 points, the Foresters’ fewest points allowed in a half this season. The Cougars tallied only five field goals in the final twenty minutes on 20.8 percent shooting.

Mount Vernon finished 18-for-52 for 34.6 percent for the game while Huntington shot 50.0 percent (29-for-58) which included eight 3-pointers, half of which came from Palmer.

HU limited MVNU to just two offensive boards in the second half but the Cougars still managed a slight rebounding advantage of 34-33 for the game. Huntington outplayed Mount Vernon in just about every other statistical category. The Foresters committed 11 miscues, dished out 15 assists and swiped 13 steals while their counterparts recorded 17 turnovers, 12 assists and seven steals.

Speed topped all scorers with 21 points. She also earned game-high honors in steals and assists with five and eight respectively. Palmer finished with 18 points, four rebounds and three assists. Hubble added 12 points, ten of which came in the second half, while Amelia Recker tossed in 11 points and grabbed six boards.

Jaclene Bonnema was a dominate force defensively, especially in the second half where she swatted three shots and collected five of her team-high eight rebounds.  

Amy Daniels poured in 18 points for the Cougars to go along with eight rebounds. Megan Beidelman tallied ten points as MVNU’s only other double digit scorer.

The Foresters are looking to avenge their loss to IWU earlier this season on Wednesday when they host the Wildcats at 7:00 p.m.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 16 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 39 NAIA All-America honors and 213 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.


Heather Barkley
Director of Communications
Joanne Green
Sports Information Director