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4th quarter push lifts #RV HU past Bethel 63-54

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MISHAWAKA, Ind. - The #RV Huntington women’s basketball team picked up their third straight win Wednesday night at the Wiekamp Athletic Center by topping Bethel College 63-54. With this W, the Foresters improve to 14-8 overall, 7-4 in CL play for 4th in the league standings with seven regular season games remaining.

The loss drops Bethel to 6-17 overall, 1-10 in conference action.

The fourth was HU’s golden quarter. The Foresters turned up the heat defensively to limit their hosts to just four points through the first nine minutes. The payoff was turning a 44-44 stalemate into a 62-48 advantage with 42 ticks remaining before settling for the nine-point victory and completing the season sweep over the Pilots.

Huntington’s defense spurred on their offense as they put 19 points on the board in the final stanza behind the play of Maddie Richer and Brooke Saylor. The duo picked apart the Pilots’ defense to account for all but five of their team’s fourth quarter points.

Richer scattered nine points in the final ten minutes. She buried a pair of trifectas, one early in the quarter and her second serving as the final dagger with just over a minute to go. In between, she scored a layup on a nifty pass from Saylor with the shot clock about to expire to give her team a 54-45 advantage with 4:04 to go after which she went 1-for-2 at the line to round out a creative nine points.

Saylor opened up the quarter with a freebie and then twice muscled her way down low to compliment Richer’s scoring. She finished with a team-best 20 points. She also ripped down a game-high 14 rebounds, handed out two dimes and blocked two shots for an all-around solid outing.

Hailey Krewald added eight points but it was her second steal in the third quarter that proved pivotal. The Pilots, down two at halftime, pieced together a 12-3 run through the first seven minutes of the third to enjoy a 38-31 advantage. After Saylor scored on a put back to pull her team within five, Krewald picked off a pass and found Casey Morton streaking the length of the floor for an easy lay-in at the 3:03 mark to trim the lead to a single possession and officially turn the tide.

The Foresters would go on to force the game’s sixth tie by the quarter’s end before their final push in the fourth that put them over the top.

The first half was more or less a wash as the two teams played within a turnover of each other and shot within .007 percent of each other with HU taking a 28-26 lead into intermission.

Kelsey Brickner came off the bench to toss in 22 points for BC. She was the only Pilot to finish in double digits. Kaitlin Elsasser and Becca Schermerhorn chipped in eight and seven points respectively. Hounded by Krewald most of the night, Kamala Glenn, who entered the evening averaging over 16 points, was limited to a single point.

HU shot 46.0 percent for the game (23-for-50) and uncharacteristically struggled from the line by going 12-for-20 for 60.0 percent. Culler’s crew entered the contest draining 75.3 percent of their freebies for the 13th best average in the NAIA.  

Huntington dominated the glass 39-18 which included tracking down 11 offensive boards while limiting the Pilots to just one offensive carom.

The Foresters are back in the friendly confines of Platt Arena on Saturday for their 10th annual Pink Out. They will tip-off with Spring Arbor at 1:00 p.m.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 38 NAIA All-America honors and 274 All-America Scholar-Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.