Huntington, Ind. - With third place in the MCC standings on the line, it was #25 Marian University (14-6, 5-4) who solidified the third spot in conference play with a 70-60 road win against the Foresters (12-9, 4-5) on Saturday afternoon.
While both teams are holding opponents to only 60 points a game, it was the Knights' physical play that ultimately gave them the edge as the Foresters struggled all afternoon to get into any sort of offensive rhythm.
It looked like it would be a back-and-forth battle to the end as both teams held their ground for the first six minutes to a 9-9 tie but Emily Smithson's jumper on the next possession gave the Knights a lead that would stick to the final buzzer. Marian extended their lead to as many as seven near the end of the half as they relied on a balanced attack in which four different players scored at least six points but an Allison Greene put back in the waning seconds cut the Knight lead to 32-27 by intermission.
The Knights opened the second half with a 8-3 run to go up 40-30 with 16 minutes remaining. Pazia Speed came off the bench to knock down two treys and pull the Foresters with four at 45-41. HU went on to cut it to 49-47 at the 8:00 mark but the Knights responded with an 8-1 run over a sixty-second span that proved to be too much for Foresters to overcome.
Speed's third long bomb of the half with just over four minutes remaining trimmed the lead to six at 59-53 but it would be as close as Huntington would get as the Knights took advantage of several Forester defensive breakdowns and made good on their free throws to cruise to the ten-point victory.
Miller was the lone Forester in double digits with a game-high 25 points. Natasha Marshall led a balanced Knight attack with 18 points and three assists. Joining her in double digits was Smithson with 15, Rachel Kenney with 12 and Rachel Turk 11. Kenney also ripped down a game-high 11 boards.
The last time these two teams met back on November 23, the Foresters won the game at the free line by going 27-for-31 (87.1 percent) but this time around it proved to be the deal-breaker as HU shot 62.1 percent (18-for-29) from the line. Box Score