Upland, Ind. - The Forester women’s basketball team wrapped up the 2011 portion of their schedule by picking up a pair of wins at the Taylor University Holiday Classic to extend their win streak to five and improve to 9-4 on the year.
On Friday, HU squared off against Bryan College (10-2) and handed them their second loss of the season by topping the Lions 57-54. Despite Bryan’s hot hand in the first twelve minutes during which they drilled eight of their first 11 shots, the Foresters stayed within striking distance at 20-17.
The tides turned for HU as they clamped down defensively to hold the Lions to 3-of-12 shooting in the final eight minutes of the half which sparked new life on the other end of the court. Allison Greene knocked down a three and a jumper late in the half to fuel a 10-3 run that gave the Foresters a 31-27 cushion heading into intermission.
The Lions pushed ahead 34-33 early in the second stanza but it was short-lived as Pazia Speed and Liesl Davenport tossed in two buckets apiece to put Huntington back on top by eight at 46-38 with just over nine minutes remaining. Up by ten at 55-45 with 3:33 on the clock, it looked like HU would cruise to the win but three costly turnovers by the Foresters allowed a pesky Bryan squad to trim the lead to two at 56-54 just inside a minute remaining.
The Foresters came up empty on the next possession but Davenport made sure the Lions did too as she intercepted a pass and proceeded to knock down one of two from the charity stripe with 11 ticks remaining. Bryan threw the ball out of bounds on the final possession to give HU the thrilling win.
Davenport finished with a career best 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting and a game-high four steals. Greene joined her in double digits with 18 points and snagged three steals and four rebounds. Kelsey Green finished with a team-high seven rebounds. Morgan Burnette paced the Lions with 18 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Against the Pomeroys of St. Mary-of-the-Woods College (6-8) on Saturday, the Foresters used a 13-point halftime lead to cruise to the 75-66 win behind a balanced attack that featured four players in double figures.
Kelsey Green topped HU with 19 points and 10 rebounds for her seventh double double of the season. Greene tossed in 16 points while Davenport and Lauren Meese added 14 and 10 points respectively. Meese also grabbed six rebounds, dished out three assists and nabbed three steals in the win.
Trailing 21-14 with just under 13 minutes remaining in the first period, the Foresters methodically chipped away at the lead until Greene’s jumper at the 5:43 mark finally pushed the Foresters on top at 30-29. It sparked a 16-2 run capped off with two Speed jumpers in the lane to give HU a commanding 44-31 advantage by halftime.
HU remained in control over the final twenty minutes by never relinquishing the lead but SMWC kept things interesting by cutting the deficit to four with two minutes remaining. The Foresters got the job done at the free throw line as Greene and Courtney Baker teamed up to go 6-for-6 in the final 1:17 to stave off a Pomeroy comeback.
Davenport and Greene were named to the All-Classic Team.
Brittney Shaner led all scorers with 26 points. Rounding out the Pomeroys’ double digit scoring was Chelsey Barron and Chelsea Weaver with 13 points each.
Huntington hosts No. 1 Indiana Wesleyan Universityin in conference action Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m.