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HU suffers disappinting 76-73 road loss to MVNU

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MOUNT VERNON, Ohio – The Forester women’s basketball team wrapped up the regular season with a heartbreaking road loss to Mount Vernon Nazarene University 76-73. The Cougars are tough to beat on their home court as evidenced by the 5-2 record they boast when playing HU at Ariel Arena.

While the outcome was disappointing, it was another outing that Huntington fans have come to appreciate. Despite being down most of the afternoon, the Foresters never quit. Trailing 67-57 with 6:28 remaining, Coach Culler’s crew rallied to enjoy their first lead of the half, 71-69, with just over two minutes remaining. The 14-2 run saw Miranda Palmer net seven points and Sarah Fryman bury a long ball from the wing.

Unfortunately, Megan Biedelman played spoiler to HU’s comeback. The 5-10 forward drained her only triple of the day on the next possession to take back the lead, 72-71. Palmer found Brooke Saylor in the paint to put the Foresters back on top by one with 24 ticks remaining. MVNU went back to Biedelman with a lob and she didn’t disappoint as she scored again with ten seconds to go for what proved to be the final lead change.

HU’s desperation look at a three was off the mark forcing the visitors to foul on the rebound. The Cougars made good on both freebies with 1.6 seconds remaining to secure the win and make for the three-point difference.

The loss drops HU to 14-15 overall, 8-10 in league play.  

The first period was nip and tuck as the halftime score that favored the hosts, 38-32, served as the game’s largest separation between the two teams up to that point. The third quarter was a different story, however, as the Cougars extended their lead to double digits early on and kept that distance much of the stanza before settling for an eight-point cushion heading into the fourth.

Palmer claimed top scoring honors with 23 points to go along with game-highs in assists and steals with seven and four respectively. Fryman established new career highs of 19 points and 11 rebounds for her first collegiate double double. Maddie Richer chipped in 12 points by going 4-for-6 from deep.

Biedelman paced MVNU with 21 points and 15 rebounds. Three other Cougars in Natalie Thomas, Dani Ellerbrock and Sierra Basista scored 13 points apiece.

As a team, Huntington shot 44.1 percent (26-for-29) from the floor and 80.0 percent (16-for-20) from the line. They committed 15 miscues to MVNU’s 14 but outscored their hosts 19-11 off of turnovers.

The 6th-seeded Foresters will travel to 3rd-seeded Indiana Wesleyan University on Tuesday in first round action of the Crossroads League tournament. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 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.