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No. 6 HU knocks off No. 3 IWU 79-59

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MARION, Ind. – The Forester women’s basketball team doesn’t mind playing at Luckey Arena as of late. Coach Culler and crew have brought home a win four out of their last five outings at IWU with none bigger than Tuesday’s 79-59 upset over 3rd-seeded Indiana Wesleyan University (18-13) in quarterfinal action of the Crossroads League Tournament.

The win sends 6th-seeded HU (15-15) to the semifinals of the league tourney on Friday to face 2nd-seeded Saint Francis. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 p.m. at Hutzell Athletic Center. For the Wildcats, it was their first loss in the opening round of the league tournament since 2001 and most likely snaps a 17-year streak of heading to the NAIA National Tournament.

It was a night where shots fell easily for the Foresters as they drained 56.5 percent of their attempts which included going 10-for-18 from long range. Leading the charge was senior Miranda Palmer who missed just four field goals all night while scoring nine points from the charity stripe to finish with a game-high 26 points to go along with a game-best three assists and two steals.

The 5-6 guard teamed up with her backcourt partner Maddie Richer to account for all but three of their team’s long balls. Palmer finished 3-for-4 from downtown while Richer was even more deadly, knocking down four of her five attempts on the way to pouring in a career-best 14 points.

Allyson Trout added 12 points and ripped down a career and game-best eight rebounds.

After trailing through the first seven minutes, Hailey Krewald banked in a three to give HU its first lead of the contest at 9-7. The Wildcats would knot things up at the 1:38 mark but Palmer finished out the quarter with five straight points to give her team a 14-9 advantage at the first break and a lead that proved permanent.  

Huntington never relented after that as they continued to distance themselves from their hosts after each quarter. The lead stood at 33-22 at the midway point. It was the Sarah Fryman show to start the second half as the rookie scored all nine of her points in the opening six minutes to account for nearly half of her team’s offense in the third quarter.

The final ten minutes was all HU as they scored the first nine points of the stanza to blow the game wide open at 62-40. Culler’s squad missed just one field goal in the fourth to keep a healthy distance from their hosts and notch their seventh win of at least 20 points.  

HU limited the Wildcats to just 40.0 percent shooting (22-for-55) which included holding their hosts to 18.2 percent from long range (4-for-22). The Foresters enjoyed a 35-25 rebounding advantage while both teams committed 12 miscues on the night.

Brittany Washington paced three Wildcats in double figures with 16 points. Haley Woodruff added 13 points and Kelsey Key dropped in ten.

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.