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HU runs out of time against #5 St. Francis

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HUNTINGTON, Ind. – The Huntington women’s basketball team ran out of time Saturday afternoon at Platt Arena to suffer a 74-73 loss to #5 University St. Francis (IL).

Down by 19, 53-34, with two-and-a-half minutes to go in the third quarter, the Foresters stormed back to cut the lead to a single point before time proved to be the bigger enemy. Allyson Trout and Hailey Krewald jumpstarted the near-heroic comeback by teaming up to score ten of the final 11 points of the third quarter to slice the deficit in half at 56-46.

With momentum clearly on their side, Huntington’s persistence carried over to the fourth where Trout continued her rampage by dropping in a pair of threes and connecting on two freebies while Sarah Fryman also got in on the action. The freshman scored seven points in the final ten minutes including a long bomb to pull her team within one at 74-73 with just three ticks remaining.

It would be as close as Coach Culler and crew would get as time expired much to the relief of St. Francis who improves to 5-0 on the year while the Foresters drop to 5-2.

In that final 12 minutes, Huntington’s grit and determination was impressive as they made it clear they can play with the nation’s best. They outscored the 5th-ranked Saints by 18, forced ten turnovers and limited their visitors to just six field goals.

The second quarter proved to be HU’s Achilles heel. After playing even with USF at 19-19 through the first quarter, HU went cold in the second. They managed just eight points in the ten-minute segment to dig themselves in a 37-27 hole heading into break forcing them to play catchup the rest of the way before coming up a point short by game’s end.

Trout topped the Foresters with 19 points, 14 of which came in the final 13 minutes, and for her efforts was named to the All-Tournament Team. Krewald was HU’s sparkplug. In addition to registering 16 points, the junior guard also posted four rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Miranda Palmer added 15 points to go along with five assists. Fryman finished with 11 points and Brooke Saylor collected ten. She also ripped down a team-high eight boards, five of which were offensive, and swiped a game-high three steals.

Charnelle Reed led all scorers with 28 points while Christina Ekhomu recorded 18 points as the Saints’ only other double digit scorer.

Both teams shot the ball well with HU owning a slight advantage at 45.9 percent (28-for-61) compared to USF’s 45.3 percent (24-for-53) but it was at the free throw line where the Saints made up the deficit. They got to the line 25 times and made good on 19 for 76.0 percent while the Foresters finished 10-for-15 for 66.7 percent.

The Foresters now turn their attention to league play. They open up the conference portion of their schedule on Tuesday when they host Goshen College at 8:00 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 254 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.