GOSHEN, Ind. – The Goshen College men's basketball team rallied from as many as ten down, but could not make enough plays down the stretch to upset #14 and Mid-Central College Conference co-regular season champion Indiana Wesleyan University Saturday evening.
The Maple Leafs out shot the Wildcats 42% to 39% in the first half, but were out rebounded 27-12. The advantage on the boards, including 12 on the offensive glass, gave Indiana Wesleyan 15 more field goal attempts in the half as they went into the locker rooms with a 37-29 lead.
A back-and-forth start eventually turned in the Wildcats favor as they took advantage of a pair of Maple Leaf turnovers during an 8-2 run (16-10). While Goshen managed to cut the deficit back to two (23-21), the visitors never surrendered their first-half lead and went on a late streak to go up double-digits for the first time after a 3-pointer and jumper by DJ Bettinger.
It took some time - in fact the Leafs still trailed by 10 as late as 9:42 remaining in the game – but Goshen got back into the game with a 9-0 run capped by a pair of Casey Pratt free throws. The run gave the Leafs their first lead (71-70) since the opening minutes with just over two minutes to play. The Wildcats' Patrick Hopkins took over down the stretch, scoring six of his game-high 19 points in the final two minutes to held Indiana Wesleyan hold on.
Jordan Weidner was also in double figures for the Wildcats with 17 points, while freshman Kody Chandler led three Leafs with at least ten with 16 points. Geoffry Gilot had 10 as one of two seniors honored as part of Senior Day and junior Sean Day hit 5-of-6 for a career high 14 points.
Goshen (18-12, 8-10 MCC) finishes the regular season in eighth place and will have to again face Indiana Wesleyan. The MCC Quarterfinal match up is slated for 7 p.m. in Marion on Wednesday night.