CHICAGO, Ill. - The HU women’s basketball team took third place at the 2012 St. Xavier University Holiday Tournament with a 77-65 win over the University of St. Francis (Ill.) Saturday night at the Shannon Center.
With this win, the Foresters log their tenth win of the season against four losses while the Fighting Saints drop to 7-9.
HU turned in a solid performance offensively by shooting 51.9 percent (28-for-54) from the field, which included going 5-for-7 behind the arc, while limiting the Saints to 40.4 percent. Huntington committed 15 turnovers to St. Francis’ 19 but the Saints won the rebounding battle 38-30.
The Foresters wasted no time getting on the board when Amelia Recker kissed one off the glass with less than six ticks gone by to give her team an early 2-0 advantage. The next 39 minutes and 54 seconds were anything but a walk in the park but HU managed to hang onto the lead throughout the entire game.
Sarah Miller-Jennings led the charge with 21 points and a game-best six assists and for her efforts was named to the All-Tournament Team.
Amelia Recker poured in 15 points and swatted two shots. Pazia Speed and Taylor Foley did a little bit of everything for the Foresters. Speed tossed in 14 points, grabbed seven boards and dished out five assists while Foley finished with a team-high eight rebounds to go along with ten points, three assists and two steals. Allison Greene rounded out HU’s scoring with 13.
Up 12-9 with just under 12 minutes remaining in the half, HU limited the Saints to 13 points the rest of the period while methodically growing the lead to as many as 13 before taking a nine point lead of 31-22 into halftime. It was a solid team effort as four different Foresters scored at least six points in the period.
The crowd got their monies worth in the final twenty minutes as the Saints didn’t go down without a fight. Recker scored back-to-back layups within a 60-second span to give HU a 38-26 lead with 17:34 on the clock but St. Francis spent the next five minutes dwindling the lead down to three at 42-39.
Greene got HU back on track with a pair of long bombs to build the lead to eight at 53-45 by the 9:12 mark but not to be outdone, Debra Jenkins cashed in on two treys of her own to will the Saints back within two at 55-53 less than two minutes later.
Once again the Foresters had an answer. Miller-Jennings knocked down her second three of the contest and drilled two freebies to spark a 9-2 run to give HU some breathing room.
The final five minutes belonged to the Foresters as they locked down defensively to limit the Saints to four field goals the rest of the way while going a perfect 7-for-7 from the charity stripe in the final minutes to ward off a scrappy St. Francis squad.
Katie Gonnering dumped in a game-high 23 points to pace the Saints. Ashley Teresiak added ten points and snagged a game-high nine boards.
The Foresters start the new year off on January 2 when they travel to 2nd-ranked Indiana Wesleyan University for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off.