SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Senior Pazia Speed put the Foresters (1-1) on her back by scoring nearly half her team’s points in a 69-62 win over the Saints of Holy Cross College Tuesday evening at McKenna Arena. The 5-7 guard poured in a career-best 33 points, which included eight field goals and a perfect 17-for-17 from the charity stripe, to will HU to its first victory of the season.
It was only the second time these two programs have met and Speed and crew made sure the Foresters remained undefeated against their foe from South Bend. The first time these two teams met was back on November 17, 2009 where HU snagged a 69-50 road win.
Sophomores Amelia Recker and Kelsey Hubble were Huntington’s only other double digit scorers. They tossed in 14 and 11 points respectively while Miranda Palmer pulled down a team-high five rebounds to go along with four steals and two assists.
The Saints only lead of the night was early in the game and lasted a handful of possessions before Hubble and Recker each registered a pair of buckets to give HU a lead that would stick at 10-6.
It looked like the visitors were poised for the blowout when they rattled off ten consecutive points over a three-minute span to take a double digit lead of 26-15 with just over five minutes remaining in the half but the Saints weren’t giving up that easy. They outscored HU by seven to close out the half and head into the locker room only down by four, 30-26.
Huntington spent the first four minutes of the second period building their lead back to double digits thanks to scoring contributions from four different Foresters as Coach Culler’s team enjoyed its largest lead of the night at 42-28.
It had all the makings of another chance for Huntington to blow the game wide open but once again, Holy Cross wasn’t ready to call it quits. Behind Kari Barnes’ two triples, the Saints dwindled the lead to three at 43-40 before Speed took matters into her own hands. She scored 17 of her team’s final 26 points to keep HC at arm’s length as five points was as close as it would get the rest of the way.
Holy Cross was led by Lindsey Steffen who finished with 26 points while Barnes tallied 18 on the night. The two shared team-high rebounding honors with seven apiece.
While the Saints logged five more field goals than their visitors and knocked down 46.4 percent of their attempts to HU’s 38.9 percent, Huntington got to the line 25 more times than HC and committed 12 fewer turnovers to finish with 14.