Despite only trailing for 2.1 seconds of the game, the Foresters (6-3) fall to the 23rd-ranked Taylor University 58-55.
With the Foresters anxious to defend their home court and the Trojans looking for revenge after losing in last year’s MCC conference championship game, both teams seemed uptight to begin the game. Things starting looking up for the Foresters at the 15:43 mark when Sarah Miller took a charge from Taylor’s leading scorer, Bethany Ballard, sending her to the bench with two fouls. HU went on a 12-4 scoring run over the next three minutes to go up 17-6. Unfortunately it was a short-lived spurt as Taylor then went on their own 17-9 run to end the half. Despite committing 14 turnovers and shooting 38% (8-21) in the first twenty minutes of play, the Foresters headed into the locker room up 26-23.
Things remained close for the first ten minutes of the second half but Brittney Bateman came off the bench to spark the Foresters. She knocked down two free throws and followed that up with a steal and lay-up to give the Foresters a 42-34 lead at the 10:50 mark. With the momentum clearly in HU’s favor, a technical foul on Taylor’s bench with just over six minutes left in the game proved to be the turning point. The Trojans rallied around the technical, outscoring the Foresters 17-10 to close out the game.
A Taylor three-pointer tied things up at 55-55 with 45 ticks on the clock. After a kicked ball gave the Foresters the ball underneath their own basket, an untimely HU turnover on the inbounds pass gave the ball back to Taylor with 23 seconds to go. With no timeouts, Taylor pushed the ball up court and after fumbling several passes, Tess Rudolph launched a long three that found nothing but the bottom of the net giving the Trojans their first lead of the game at 58-55 with 2.1 seconds left on the clock. The Foresters final shot fell short at the buzzer.
Jenna Donaldson led HU with 15 points. Courtney Beerbower chipped in 11 points and six rebounds while Bateman came off the bench to add 10 points and three assists. Bethany Ballard had a game-high 19 points.