CHICAGO, Ill. - The Forester women’s basketball team (9-3) got the job done Thursday night with a 59-44 win over Calumet College of St. Joseph (5-9) in first round action of the 2012 St. Xavier University Holiday Tournament.
It wasn’t a particularly pretty game as both teams needed to shake off the rust after having nearly a two week break from the hardwood but HU capitalized on an early surge in the opening minutes of the second half to advance to the winner’s bracket.
Huntington shot 39.3 percent (22-for-56) for the game while holding the Crimson Wave to 17 field goals on 34.0 percent shooting. HU scored 19 points off 21 Calumet turnovers and pulled down 11 offensive boards to outscore CCSJ 15-8 on second chance points.
Allison Greene came off the bench to score a game-best 14 points to go along with six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Sarah Miller-Jennings was HU’s only other double digit scorer with 12 points. Pazia Speed added nine points and took game-high honors in rebounds with nine and assists with four.
After trading several leads in the opening eight minutes of play, Speed gave her team the lead for good when she connected on a driving layup to make it 13-11.
Hanging on to a two-point advantage of 18-16 with just under seven minutes remaining in the half, Amelia Recker made sure HU’s lead stuck by scoring six of her eight points in a three-minute span to grow the lead to five at 26-21. A pair of free throws by Lauren Meese and Miller-Jennings sandwiched a Greene layup to close out the half as Huntington headed into the locker room with a 32-26 lead.
It looked like the Crimson Wave was vying for momentum as they opened up the second half with a trey by Rebecca Dill but the Foresters would have none of it. Back-to-back buckets down low by Recker and Taylor Foley sparked an 11-2 run to give HU a 43-31 lead by the 13:27 mark.
HU never gave up their double digit lead thanks in large part to the perimeter play of Greene, Miller-Jennings and Courtney Baker who accounted for Huntington’s next twelve points to extend the lead to 17 with just under seven minutes remaining. The Foresters managed only one more field goal the rest of the way but it proved to be more than enough as they held on for the 15-point victory.
Karina Robinson and Dill paced the Crimson Wave with 11 and 10 points respectively.
The Foresters are back in action today to face host St. Xavier at 7:00 p.m. CST.