In order to keep their hopes alive for a share of the MCC regular season title, the Foresters needed a big road win and a little help from St. Francis. HU took care of its end with a hard-fought 57-52 victory over Marian College, but St. Francis succumbed to Bethel 81-69 putting the Foresters in sole possession of second place in the final MCC standings.
HU sprinted out to a 15-4 lead six minutes into the contest with nine points coming from Jenna Donaldson. A scrappy Knight squad rallied back within three at 21-18, but a 10-2 Forester run over a five minute span put HU back up 11 at 31-20 at the 3:23 mark. The two teams traded baskets down the stretch and HU took a 34-23 advantage to the locker room.
Marian's starting frontcourt got into some early foul trouble in the first half and when they returned to the floor for the second half, they did so with a vengeance. The two forwards, Kristin Houck and Jessica Carr, scored 11 of the Knights' first 13 points and evened the score at 38-38 five minutes into the period. The Foresters responded with a 6-0 run to stymie Marian's rally attempt, but the Knights fought back to even the score again at 46 with 8:50 to play. Donaldson broke the tie and Courtney Beerbower scored on a left-handed layup to put HU up four.
With the Foresters still up four at the 2:15 mark, Marian's Whitney Frame completed a traditional 3-point play to bring the Knights within one at 53-52 at the 1:56 mark. HU then went 4-6 from the line to over the final 1:28 while holding Marian scoreless to seal the win.
Donaldson topped all scorers in the game with 21 points. Joining her in double figures for the Foresters was Beerbower with 17 points and Miller with 11. Frame paced the Knights with 15 and Houck chipped in 13. Marian's Carr and Molly Lauck each had a game-high eight rebounds.
With the victory, the Foresters secured the #2 seed for the upcoming MCC Tournament. HU will host the 7th-seeded Cougars of Spring Arbor on Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. Other first round match-ups include the winner of Monday's #8 Grace/#9 Goshen play-in game at #1 Bethel; #6 Marian at #3 Indiana Wesleyan; and #5 St. Francis at #4 Taylor.