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Goshen bring HU’s season to an end

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GOSHEN, Ind. - The 2nd-seeded Maple  Leafs of Goshen College brought an end to the 7th-seeded HU women’s basketball team Tuesday night in the quarterfinals of the Crossroads League tournament by handing the Foresters an 85-69 loss at Gunden Gymnasium. The victory was the first time since 2004 the Maple Leafs (24-7) have won a postseason contest and just their tenth win over HU since 1986. 

Tonight’s clash was the third time these two teams have met this season and with each outing, there was a common theme that rang true - the Maple Leafs exploded out of the gates to take a significant lead by halftime.

The first matchup back on January 2, the Foresters overcame a 19-point halftime deficit to outlast Goshen 75-70 by game’s end. In the second meeting, the Maple Leafs enjoyed a 12-point advantage at intermission and grew their lead to as many as 21 in the third quarter before HU whittled the lead down to a single possession before running out of time as GC hung on for a 75-72 win.

This given night was no different as Coach Stephanie Miller’s crew spent the first 20 minutes doubling up the score on their visitors for a 46-23 advantage by the halfway point. The Maple Leafs didn’t miss much as they finished 20-for-31 for 64.5 percent in the first half. Critical to their success was their defense as they forced HU into 14 turnovers to the tune of 24 points. The Foresters entered the contest averaging less than 13 miscues a game.

Unfortunately, tonight there was no heroic comeback by Culler’s squad. Despite outscoring their hosts 48 -39 over the final two quarters and committing only five TOs, 11 points was as close as Huntington would get the rest of the night. While the Maple Leafs cooled down relatively speaking, they still managed to shoot 51.9 percent in the final 20 minutes to keep HU at arm’s length.

6-1 junior Gabby Williams proved to be Goshen’s franchise player. The Crossroads League second teamer was near perfect, going 10-for-11 from the field for a team-high 22 points. Lynnia Noel came off the bench to add 15 points. Liz Tecca chipped in 13 points while four other Maple Leafs scored at least seven points for a well-balanced attack.

Miranda Palmer topped all scorers with 26 points and a game-high six assists. Amelia Recker logged her tenth double double of the year with 11 points and a game-best ten boards, half of which were offensive. Kelsey Hubble tossed in ten points and dished out four assists.

As a team, the Foresters finished 25-for-52 from the field for 48.1 percent while Goshen topped out at 58.6 percent (34-for-58). Each team tallied 26 rebounds with HU making the most of second chance opportunities by outscoring GC 12-6 on put backs but Goshen got the best of HU in the paint 46-20.

The Foresters wrap up the year with an overall record of 17-14.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 39 NAIA All-America honors and 234 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.