SPRING ARBOR, Mich. - The HU women’s basketball locked in as the No. 5 seed in the conference tourney with a 70-60 win over Spring Arbor University Saturday afternoon at Bockwitz Court.
With this win, the Foresters (17-12, 9-9) head into the Crossroads tournament riding a two-game win streak. They hit the road on Tuesday to face 4th-seeded Taylor in opening round of the tourney.
The Cougars entered the contest one game out of eighth place and in desperate need of a win in order to keep their hopes alive of seeing another day. The loss ended their season as only the top eight teams make postseason play. SAU wraps up the year 10-20 overall, 4-14 in conference play.
Classmates Taylor Foley and Pazia Speed paced the Foresters in the first twenty minutes. They each tossed in ten points by shooting a combined 7-for-11 to account for over half of their team’s points. Foley started things off by scoring on the opening possession to give Huntington a lead that would only be relinquished once.
The Cougars’ lone lead of the day came during a 90-second stretch with just over eight minutes left in the half on the heels of a 13-2 run. Trailing 18-12 at the 11:59 mark, SAU’s Jenna Jamieson cashed in on a conventional three-point play to prompt a Cougar spurt that turned their deficit into a five-point advantage of 25-20.
The Foresters quickly responded by reeling off the next seven points to reclaim a two-point lead on their way to taking a 36-33 lead into the locker room.
Spring Arbor came out flat to start the final stanza to which Culler’s took full advantage. The Foresters held the Cougars to a single point through the first nine minutes to build a 48-34 advantage, the game’s largest lead.
Despite freshman Carlie Newman tearing up the nets for a team-high 17 points over the final 11 minutes, the Cougars never fully recovered as seven points was as close as they would get the rest of the way. HU went 7-for-8 from the line in the final two minutes to keep SAU at arm’s length.
Speed topped all scorers with 18 points. Foley and Sarah Miller-Jennings each logged their first double double of the season. Foley finished with 15 points and a game-high 12 boards while Miller-Jennings added 15 points and a season-high ten rebounds to go along with five assists. Allison Greene rounded out HU’s double digit scoring with 12 points. She also dished out five assists.
In addition to Newman’s 17 points, Jamieson and Aimee Konkel tallied 15 and ten points respectively.
HU enjoyed a 45-36 rebounding advantage and committed 12 turnovers to the Cougars’ 18. Spring Arbor outshot HU from the field 37.7 percent (23-for-61) to 35.6 percent (21-for-59) but the difference in the contest came at the charity stripe where Huntington scored 25 points on 31 attempts for 80.6 percent while SAU connected on 8-for-13 for 61.5 percent.