In a game that pitted two of the top teams in the nation, #6 Indiana Wesleyan (21-4, 10-1) handed #18 Huntington University (16-7, 7-4) a 74-65 loss in a match-up that lived up to its expectation.
It was the Foresters who struck first when Jenna Donaldson got the friendly roll on a long trey. Ryleigh Carr then completed an old fashioned three-point play to give the Foresters the early 6-0 lead but it would prove to be their largest lead of the contest. Wesleyan enjoyed their first lead of the game at the 14:27 mark when LeAnn Douglas scored on a layup to go up 9-8. The Foresters stayed within striking distance of the Wildcats over the next 15 minutes in large part due to the play of Kelsey Green. She went 5-for-5 from the field to score ten first half points. As the halftime buzzer sounded, the Foresters headed to the locker room down 28-27.
Courtney Beerbower and Sarah Miller combined for 31 second half points but it wasn't quite enough to overcome the Wildcats' precision on the offensive end. In typical Wesleyan fashion, they methodically ran their offense to find the open person and take advantage of mismatches. Their patience paid off as they went 15-for-21 from the field for 71% in the second half compared to HU's 46% on 12-for-26 shooting.
Beerbower gave the HU crowd something to cheer about when she kissed a shot off the backboard to cut Wesleyan's lead to 58-56 with just over four minutes to play. But the Wildcats had an answer in Kayla Thompson as she quieted the crowd by knocking down a jumper at the other end. Elaine Hessel then drained a three to give the Wildcats some breathing room at 63-56. Wesleyan went to work at the free throw line, hitting 8-for-10 down the stretch to seal the victory.
Miller finished with a game-high 19 points while Beerbower chipped in 17 points and a team-high six rebounds. Rounding out the double digit scoring for the Foresters was Green with 10. Krystal Stoneking led four Wildcats in double digit scoring with 17 points. She also grabbed nine boards.