HUNTINGTON, Ind. - It was sweet revenge for the HU women’s basketball team as they dismantled the 12th-ranked Pilots of Bethel College 69-52 in a critical MCC match-up Wednesday night. With this win, the Foresters (16-9) improve to 8-7 in league play and inch closer to popping back into the top four in conference standings.
It was obvious from opening tip-off that the Foresters were on a mission, a mission to redeem themselves from a disappointing 61-34 loss to Bethel back on January 18. Defense was the key to HU’s success as they held the Pilots, a team known for their sharp-shooting, to 21.9% behind the arc (7-for-32) and 32.3% shooting overall (20-for-62).
The Forester didn’t make it easy for Bethel to get into any sort of rhythm by forcing 27 turnovers. The back court play for HU accounted for 17 steals. Courtney Baker led the pack with six while Lauren Meese and Allison Greene accounted for five and four respectively.
Pazia Speed topped all scorers with 19 points. Lauren Meese ripped down a game-high nine rebounds to go along with ten points while Kelsey Green tossed in 12 points.
Four of the Pilots’ seven treys came in the first seven minutes of play but the Foresters didn’t seem fazed as they held onto an 18-14 advantage at the 13:21 mark behind nine points from Pazia Speed. HU continued to roll as they grew their lead to 27-16 by the midway point of the half and proceeded to cruise into break with a 33-25 lead.
The Pilots stepped it up a notch to start the second half but a poised Forester squad took it all in stride. Bethel shaved the lead to a duce on two different occasions with the last coming at the 12:28 mark but Baker made sure Huntington never relinquished the lead.
She did a little bit of everything over the next six minutes to grow HU’s lead back to double digits at 56-46 with just under seven minutes remaining. After knocking down a baseline jumper, she logged four steals, dished out two assists and drained two freebies to put the Foresters back in command.
HU then went into lock down mode by limiting the Pilots to six points the rest of the way while six different Foresters put points on the board to run away with the 17-point upset.
The Foresters owned a slight 43-42 rebounding edge with Green and Taylor Foley taking charge on the offensive glass. Each finished with five offensive rebounds.
Laura Johnson and Kristen Hicks were the only Pilots to reach double figures with 15 and 14 points respectively.
The Foresters hit the hardwood again on Saturday when they host Taylor University at 1:00 p.m.