A thirteen-minute scoring drought led to a 15-point first half deficit that the Huntington University Foresters (18-11) couldn’t overcome in their 60-54 MCC semi-final loss to the NAIA 9th-ranked Wildcats of Indiana Wesleyan (27-5). Back-to-back layups to start the game gave HU a 4-2 advantage at the 18:24 mark, but then the lid came down on the bucket and the Foresters couldn’t get anything to fall for their next 21 possessions. Two free throws by Jessica Ramey finally ended the drought to make it 19-6 with five minutes to go in the half. The two teams played even down the stretch and headed to the locker room with Indiana Wesleyan leading 30-15.
In the second half, the Wildcats were content to trade baskets and were still up 53-27 with just under five minutes to play when HU finally put together a run. With desperation setting in, the Foresters finally found some rhythm on the offensive end and out-scored Indiana Wesleyan 12-2 to pull within six at 55-49 with 1:18 to go. The Wildcats then hit enough charity tosses in the final minute to seal the win.
Indiana Wesleyan’s Liz Howerth, the MCC Player of the Year, took game-high honors with 23 points and Sarah McGill finished with 12 off the bench. Jessica Ramey had 21 points and four assists to pace the Foresters. Amy Berry added 12 and Betsey Bean finished with 11. With the win, the Wildcats earn a spot in the MCC Championship game on Monday, February 27 against the 6th-ranked Cougars of St. Francis. The 24th-ranked Foresters will now have to wait and see whether they receive an at-large bid to the NAIA National Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa March 8-14.