The road is a tough place to play in the Mid-Central Conference as a young Forester squad discovered, but fortunately HU had an experienced ace in the hole. Senior Amy Berry scored 27 points to lead the Foresters to the 62-54 win over Marian College in their conference opener.
The first half was primarily a seesaw battle that saw 12 lead changes and six ties through the first 14 minutes of play. A Kendra Stahl jumper at the 5:51 mark gave HU a 24-23 lead and a Berry 15-footer with 3:06 on the clock gave the Foresters their biggest margin of the half at 31-25. The two teams traded buckets down the stretch with HU holding a 36-31 advantage at the break.
Both team picked up the defensive intensity in the second half, but the Knights got two field goals apiece from Brittany Meyer and Whitney Frame to pull within one and then Michelle Meneguzzi gave Marian the lead at 41-40 with a short bank shot on the left block.
HU called timeout with 14:45 to play and changed defenses to a 2-3 zone. Marian's Lisa Manley knocked down a jumper at the top to push the Knight's lead to 43-40, but Marian would score just 11 more points over the final 14 minutes of play.
With the score knotted at 51-51 with 3:25 remaining, the Foresters scored eight unanswered points to finally take control of the game. Berry ignited the run with a deep jumper in the left corner and Lauren Davenport and Jessah Brumbaugh both scored on driving layups. With Marian's offense continuing to sputter against the zone, the Knights were forced to foul. Davenport hit 3-4 charity tosses and Berry went 2-2 in the final minute to seal the win.
Berry was the lone Forester in double figures with her 27. Brumbaugh and Jenna Donaldson both added eight. Frame led Marian with 12 points. The difference in the game for HU was its free throw shooting. The Foresters were 20-25 from the line for 80% while the Knights went 5-12 for 42%. Marian out-rebounded the Foresters 40-33.