HUNTINGTON, Ind. – The 2nd-seeded Forester women’s basketball team took care of business Tuesday night in first round action of the Crossroads League tournament by beating 7th-seeded Bethel College (12-19) 78-41.
It marks the third time this season that Coach Culler and crew have defeated the Pilots by at least 30 points and the 39th win over Bethel during Culler’s tenure.
With this win, the Foresters improve to 23-7 and move on to the semifinals of the tourney where they will host 3rd-seeded Indiana Wesleyan University on Friday at 7:00 p.m.
Twelve points in twenty minutes. It’s the fewest points HU has allowed in a half much to the chagrin of the Pilots. Bethel managed only four field goals on 16.0 percent shooting and coughed up the ball eight times thanks to HU’s relentless defense that always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.
On the other end of the floor, Courtney Baker had a masterful half. The 5-5 guard scored 12 of her 14 first half points in the opening 11 minutes as the Foresters raced out to a 21-9 lead and never looked back. She also ripped down six boards and dished out three assists to guide HU to a 41-12 halftime advantage and leave little doubt as to the final outcome.
The Foresters put together a three-minute highlight reel beginning at the 14:42 mark of the final stanza to take their largest lead of the night at 59-17. The show started when Amelia Recker and Kelsey Hubble each scored on back-to-back turnovers by the Pilots. Pazia Speed then got into the action with a long ball while Hubble followed suit on the next possession. Recker topped it off with another bucket to cap off the 12-0 run.
Thirty-four points was as close as it would get the rest of the contest as HU cruised to the lopsided win.
Baker finished with a game-high 18 points to go along with five assists and a pair of steals. She also tied Amelia Echemann for game-high rebounding honors with eight. Other double digit scorers for HU included Miranda Palmer with 17, Recker with 16 and Speed with 10. Speed also tallied five assists and a game-high three steals.
The Foresters shot 52.1 percent from the field (25-for-48) which included going 5-for-8 behind the arc. They also more than lived up to their No. 3 national ranking in free throw percentage by knocking for 23 of their 24 attempts for 95.8 percent.
The Pilots, on the other hand, struggled to put the ball in the hole. They finished 15-for-56 for 26.8 percent from the field which included shooting a dismal 6-for-32 from 3-point land. They were led by Ashley Lutz who came off the bench to score 11 points.