In the first round of the Mid-Central Conference tournament, the NAIA Division II 16th-ranked Huntington University Foresters (22-6) overcame an early case of nerves to eliminate Spring Arbor University 65-52 and move to the semifinals on Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. Huntington will host Indiana Wesleyan University who was a 73-64 winner over Marian College. Bethel College, an 82-68 winner over Grace College, will host the other semifinal. They will face Taylor University who knocked off the University of St. Francis 84-66.
The Cougars took the early lead on a trey by Jen Moor and were up 10-6 at the 13:10 mark before Huntington finally settled down and put some points on the board. The Foresters scored the next 16 while holding Spring Arbor scoreless for nearly 11 minutes. A Sarah Miller jumper at the 3:25 mark gave Huntington a 22-10 lead. Kara Buehrer finally ended the Cougar drought with a 3-pointer at the 2:28 mark. The two teams traded baskets down the stretch and the Foresters took a 28-16 cushion to the break.
Spring Arbor made a run to begin the second half and cut their deficit to eight at 30-22, but it was as close as they would get. Huntington out-scored the Cougars 11-4 over the next three minutes to push the lead up to 15 at 41-26 with 13:43 to play. The Foresters maintained the double digit lead the rest of the way and ended with the 65-52 victory.
Courtney Beerbower topped three Foresters in double figures with 19 points. Miller finished with 16 and Jenna Donaldson added 12 points and six boards. Moor paced Spring Arbor with 12 points and six rebounds. Buehrer chipped in 11 points and five assists and Kristen Miller had 10 points.