MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - Points haven’t come easy for the Foresters as of late and the first eight minutes of Saturday’s contest was no different as the HU found themselves in a 16-point hole and spent the rest of the afternoon chasing Mount Vernon Nazarene University before succumbing to the Cougars 63-61.
Ranked fourth in NAIA Division II in free throw shooting at 75.4 percent, the Foresters struggled to go 16-for-27 from the charity stripe over the weekend and it was these missed opportunities that proved to be the difference in the game.
Despite getting out to a sluggish start, the Foresters chipped away at the lead and after pulling within ten by the five-minute mark, Kelsey Green banked in a shot from just inside half court with the shot clock expiring to spark a 9-2 run that trimmed MVNU’s lead to 33-30 by halftime.
After scoring nine points in the opening twenty minutes, Allison Greene scored over half of HU’s second half points to keep the visitors within striking distance. The Cougars opened up a 46-41 lead with just under 13 minutes remaining but the Foresters rallied behind Greene’s second trey of the day and a pair of free tosses to take their only lead of the day at 50-49 with 8:03 on the clock.
Mount Vernon responded with a 12-5 run to grow their lead back to six at 61-55 but the never-say-die Foresters pieced together one more spurt behind back-to-back jumpers by Greene and two free throws by the other Green to force the seventh tie of the contest with 56 ticks remaining.
The Foresters locked down defensively to force a Cougar miss but Sierra Fletcher chased down the rebound with 26 seconds remaining and then found nothing but the bottom of the net on an off-balance jumper with 3.3 seconds remaining for the game-winner.
Greene finished with 25 points to match her career best. Green added 13 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds while Pazia Speed tossed in 11. Alexis Harkins was the lone Cougar to reach double digits with 19 points. Amy Daniels snagged a game-high eight rebounds to go along with eight points.
With this loss, the Foresters drop to 15-9, 7-7 in league play. They are back in the friendly confines of the Merillat Complex on Wednesday to take on 12th-ranked Bethel College at 7:00 p.m.