With second place in the MCC on the line, the #12 Cougars of Saint Francis (19-10, 12-3) put together a late game surge to hand the #17 Foresters (19-8, 10-5) the 71-65 loss.
Jenna Donaldson got things rolling as she scored eight of HU's first 12 points to give the Foresters the early 12-2 lead. Over the next six minutes the Foresters continued to dominate on both ends of the floor as they limited the Cougars to seven points while connecting on 5-for-7 from the field to take a convincing 25-9 lead at the 10:37 mark. After some defensive adjustments by the Cougars, HU’s offense sputtered allowing Saint Francis to put together a 20-11 run that cut HU's lead in half, 36-39, by halftime.
The second half started off shaky for the Foresters as they committed three turnovers in the first four possessions. But the Foresters settled down and by the 11:55 mark had established a 13-point lead at 51-38. Behind eight points from Bessie Jenkins, the Cougars stormed back outscoring HU 15-4 to cut the deficit to 55-53 with just under seven minutes left in the contest.
The first tie of the game came 90 seconds later when Angie Roy knocked down a trey to knot the score at 56-56. The Foresters kept their composure and regained the lead when Donaldson drained her third three-pointer of the night to give HU the slim 62-61 lead at the 2:44 mark. Kayla Mullins then took matters into her own hands by drilling the long bomb that gave the Cougars a one-point lead. She followed that up by forcing a Forester turnover that she converted to a lay-up on the other end to give her team the 68-65 lead with just over 30 ticks on clock. The Foresters didn't have an answer and were forced to foul. The Cougars went 3-for-4 from the charity stripe in the final seconds to secure the win.
Donaldson led HU with 20 points. Sarah Miller tossed in 18 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Jenkins led all scorers with 33 points. Joining her in double digits for the Cougars was Kayla Mullins with 13 and Julie Seiss with 10.
Even though HU hit four more field goals than the Cougars, the difference came down to free throws. Saint Francis shot 84% from the line (26-for-31) while the Foresters only connected on 48% of their attempts (11-for-23).