MARION, Ind. - It wasn’t exactly how the No. 23 HU women’s basketball team (10-5, 2-2) wanted to start 2013 as the 2nd-ranked Wildcats of Indiana Wesleyan University (16-0, 4-0) demolished the Foresters 82-44 Wednesday night at Luckey Arena.
It was all Wesleyan from opening tip-off as they raced out to a 16-2 lead to quickly take control of the contest. They shot a sweltering 60.4 percent (23-for-53) on the night which included going 9-for-14 behind the arc to tie their season high for points in a game.
Paige Smith and Taylor Goshert had their way with the Foresters by scoring 22 and 20 points to pace IWU.
While IWU made it look easy, scoring was at a premium for HU as they struggled against the nation’s top defenders. The visitors managed only two points through the first six minutes to find themselves in an insurmountable hole. They finished with 17 field goals for the game on 30.9 percent shooting against a Wildcat squad who is giving up just over 45 points per outing.
The Foresters’ bread and butter all season has been the charity stripe where they lead the nation in in free throw percentage at 80.7 percent but tonight’s top-25 matchup did not prove so prosperous. Huntington shot a dismal 6-for-12 from the line and was out-rebounded 42-24.
Despite their disappointing start, HU was only down by 14 at 30-16 after an Allison Greene pull-up jumper with just over five minutes on the clock. But the Wildcats made sure the Foresters didn’t get any closer as they pieced together a 12-4 run to take a 42-18 lead into break.
Things didn’t get any better for Huntington in the second period as the Wildcats continued to have their way offensively while stymieing HU on the other end of the court to swell the lead to 57-20 by the 15:43 mark. IWU took their largest lead of the night at 76-33 with just over six minutes remaining before sending HU home with a 38-point loss.
Greene proved to be HU’s only bright spot of the period by accounting for half of her team’s 26 second half points. She finished with a team-high 18 points. The senior guard also grabbed four rebounds and nabbed two steals. Kelsey Hubble came off the bench to score eight.
The Foresters will spend the next two days regrouping before road tripping to Mount Vernon Nazarene University on Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. match-up.