The Huntington University Foresters (11-7, 3-3) held NAIA Division II 8th-ranked Indiana Wesleyan University (18-2, 4-2) to just nine first half points on 15% shooting and then held off a second half charge by the Wildcats to pull off the 63-55 upset. After winning a NAIA record 56 consecutive games, Indiana Wesleyan fell for the second time in as many games after having their streak end on Saturday with a 52-49 loss to Bethel College.
Huntington’s defense was the story of the first half, forcing the Wildcats to put up off-balance shots with the shot clock winding down. The Foresters jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and never trailed in the game. Huntington held the Wildcats to just three points over the first 13 minutes of the half and extended its advantage to as many as 21 at 28-7 with two minutes to play. A Brook Amstutz layup at the 1:29 mark cut it to 19 at the break.
Indiana Wesleyan returned to the court resolved to make a game of it. The Wildcats began to slowly chip away at the Foresters’ lead. They were able to make significant headway when all three of Huntington’s post players picked up their fourth fouls within a minute of each other with 10:26 still remaining in the contest. Indiana Wesleyan finally made it back within single digits at 45-36 on a Kayla Thompson trey from the corner with 6:51 left in the game, but Jenna Donaldson immediately pushed it back to 12 with an traditional three-point play.
The Wildcats continued to pound the ball inside trying to draw a fifth foul on the Huntington posts and pulled within six on another Lisa Thompson layup in the paint. This time Erica Yost had the answer with a three in the corner that found nothing but net and gave the Foresters a 53-44 lead with 1:44 to play. Huntington then began a parade to the foul line and knocked down all 10 charity tosses, including 6-6 from Lauren Davenport, to earn the upset.
Indiana Wesleyan’s Lisa Thompson topped all scorers in the game with 23 points and she added a game-high 11 rebounds. Kayla Thompson joined her in double figures with 12 points. Brittany Bateman and Davenport each finished with 14 points to lead the Foresters and Yost chipped in 13.
Huntington was 20-46 from the field for the game for 44% while the Wildcats went 20-56 for 36%. The Foresters out-scored Indiana Wesleyan 19-13 at the line.