GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Fueled by Allison Greene’s 12-point second half performance, the Forester women’s basketball team (1-0) downed Aquinas College (1-1) 64-43 in its season opener Saturday afternoon.
It was a shaky first half for HU as they managed only seven field goals on 20.0 percent shooting but the saving grace was Huntington’s full court pressure that forced 26 Saint turnovers, 24 of which were steals.
Greene’s only field goal of the first half came at the 11:46 mark and it proved to be the turning point as it gave HU a lead that would never be relinquished. Pazia Speed scored the next two Forester buckets to spur a 9-3 run and give the visitors their largest lead of the half at 16-9. Both teams continued to struggle offensively but it was HU who headed into break with a 20-14 lead.
The first 12 minutes of the second half was more of the same as neither team broke any scoring records but all that changed when Greene and freshman Amelia Recker teamed up to score 13 of HU’s next 17 points to grow the visitors’ lead to 21 at 59-38 with just under four minutes remaining. The Saints would get no closer as HU was able to ride out the 21-point win.
The Foresters shot 56.7 percent (17-for-30) in the second half to finish 36.9 percent on the day to the Aquinas’ 35.9 percent (14-for-39). HU held a slight 37-36 rebounding advantage with Lauren Meese pulling down a game-high ten boards.
Greene tallied a team-high 14 points while Recker and Taylor Foley each finished with 12. Speed did a little bit of everything recording 11 points, five rebounds, four of which were offensive, four steals and three assists.
Allison Heberlein was the only Saint to finish in double digits with 15 points. She also finished with a team-high nine rebounds in the losing effort.
The Foresters will have their hands full on Tuesday when they travel to 7th-ranked Concordia University (Mich.). HU lost to the Cardinals twice last year with the last meeting a 69-60 loss in first round action of the NAIA National Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa.