It was the first road trip of the season for the 23rd-ranked Foresters as they traveled to Grand Rapids to face NAIA Division II 24th-ranked Aquinas College. As has been typical of this particular match-up in recent years, the outcome required extra time to be decided. This time it was HU that prevailed 66-65 in overtime.
With both team's defenses dictating play early in the contest, points were difficult to come by. The Foresters were able to find the range a little quicker than Aquinas and held their largest lead of the game at 20-12 with 7:50 left in the half. Following a timeout, Aquinas changed up its defense and took the Foresters out of their offensive rhythm. The momentum swung in favor of the Saints and they used it to pull even at 21-21 and took a 25-24 lead at the break.
Aquinas emerged from the locker room and picked up where they left off. A 12-5 run to begin the half gave the Saints their biggest advantage in the game at 37-29 at the 13:02 mark. With HU still down eight at 39-31, freshman Sarah Miller was fouled on a 3-point attempt. She knocked down all three charity tosses and ignited a 14-2 run which put the Foresters in front 45-41 with seven minutes to play.
HU was able to maintain the lead down the stretch and seemed to have the game in hand when Jenna Donaldson hit two free throws to put the Foresters up 62-57 with 26 seconds to play.
On the Saints' next possession, they turned the ball over and were forced to foul. HU missed the front end of the bonus and then fouled Joslyn Narber at the other end. She hit both to make it 62-59. Again Aquinas was forced to foul and again the Foresters failed to convert either of the two free throws. The Saints were awarded the ball with 7.6 seconds left when the second miss was knocked out of bounds.
Aquinas tried to throw the inbounds pass to half court, but HU came up with the ball. In what appeared to be an attempt to foul, Narber knocked the ball loose, grabbed it, took two dribbles and launched a 25 footer. It landed on the plate at the back of the rim and rolled into the hoop to knot the score at 62-62 with 1.2 seconds to play. The Foresters' long pass was picked off as time expired in regulation.
With the momentum again in their favor, the Saints went to their go-to player and Narber drew the foul. She hit one of two and then following a Forester turnover, Carrie Abdo scored in the post to give Aquinas a 65-52 lead. Neither team scored for the next two minutes until Donaldson hit two free throws to pull the Foresters within one. After trading two more empty possessions, again it was Donaldson that drilled a baseline jumper with 25 seconds left that put HU in front 66-65.
Aquinas went back to Narber at its end, but Courtney Beerbower came up with a huge block. Lauren Davenport snagged the rebound and the Saints sent HU to the line with seven seconds on the clock. After missing both tosses, Aquinas' Logan Marsh dribbled the ball up the floor and threw up an off balance shot from the left wing that was off the mark giving HU the hard-fought victory.
Donaldson topped four players in double figures for HU with a game-high 22 points. Kelsey Green finished with 12 off the bench and Beerbower and Miller both added 10. Davenport recorded a game-high 10 assists.
Narber led the Saints with 21 points and she added 12 rebounds. Abdo chipped in a double-double of her own with 17 points and 15 boards.
The Foresters shot 38.1% (24-63) for the game while Aquinas was 20-62 for 32.3%. HU also forced the Saints into 28 turnovers in the contest.