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Grace tops HU in opening round of CL tourney

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WINONA LAKE, Ind. - The 5th-seeded Forester women’s basketball team left it all on the floor Tuesday night but unfortunately it wasn’t enough as they were on the wrong side of a 75-65 decision against 4th-seeded Grace College on opening night of the Crossroads League tournament at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

The loss brings the season to an end for Culler and crew as they wrap up the year with a 16-14 record.

Grace’s style of play has been a challenge for the Foresters all season as three of HU’s 14 losses have been to the Lancers with foul trouble haunting Huntington each time. On the season, HU averaged under 16 fouls per outing but against the Lancers, the Foresters committed, on average, over 25 fouls each time.

Not surprising, the difference came down to the free throw line on this given night where Grace went 24-for-30 while Huntington connected on 14 of their 20 attempts. Both teams finished with 23 field goals, five of which were from long range.

The first half proved to be a wash but it wasn’t until just before intermission that that came to be. HU opened up a 17-11 lead in the first quarter on the way to a four-point advantage by the first break. Huntington continued their hunt for the upset bid in the second quarter by upping their advantage to eight at 26-18 three minutes before halftime.

However, Grace found their groove over the next few minutes to knot things up at 27-27 by intermission and it was a glimpse of what was to come. The Lancers erupted for 27 points on 10-for-14 shooting in the third quarter to jet in front by seven, 54-47, heading into the final ten minutes.

The Foresters were no slouches in the third either as they netted 20 points, 11 from Sarah Fryman, to keep their hosts within sight. HU would go on to cut into the lead several times in the fourth, getting as close as four by the midway point of quarter, but the Lancers camped out at the free throw line to keep Huntington at arm’s length. Fifteen of the Lancers’ 21 fourth quarter points came by way of the charity stripe.

Fryman finished with 14 points to lead HU. Richer tossed in 11 points and finished with three steals. Brooke Saylor added ten points. Sam Hammel posted a team-high and career-best ten rebounds, four of which were of the offensive variety, to go along with nine points, two assists and two steals.

For seniors Hailey Krewald and Brooke Yoder, it was their last game in a Forester jersey. Krewald dropped in eight points and collected a trio of assists and steals while Yoder finished with five points, an assist and a steal.

Brooke Sugg topped all scorers with 23 points with ten of those points coming in Grace’s monster third quarter. Vironnica Drake enjoyed a double double of 16 points and 11 rebounds. Micaela Box added ten points and four assists off the bench.

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.