MARION, Ind. – The Goshen College men's basketball team dropped its fourth straight ending the season with a 74-66 defeat at the hands of top-seeded Indiana Wesleyan University in the Mid-Central College Conference Quarterfinals Wednesday night.
The Maple Leafs managed to out shoot the hosts 42% to 37%, but hit just 4-of-23 from long range. Jordan Weidner hit six 3-pointers on his own for the Wildcats to score a game-high 29 points. Patrick Hopkins added 18 points, while Aaron Martin chipped in 11.
The Leafs were led by 14 points each from freshman Kody Chandler and junior Matthew Martin, while junior Mike Betcher added 12 points and senior Geoffry Gilot had 10.
Goshen was out rebounded by just one (44-43), but allowed 18 IWU boards on the offensive glass and also turned the ball over 16 times. They also committed 28 teams fouls to just 15 by the Wildcats allowing the hosts to take 47 free throws.
A sloppy opening to the game by both sides saw the hosts take the initial advantage behind Weidner. The sophomore hit three-straight three pointers and had 11 points in the first 4:10 to propel IWU to a 13-6 lead. Five minutes later, Hopkins took over, scoring five consecutive points as the Wildcats stretched their lead to double-digits (25-15).
Goshen answered, though, going on a 12-2 run in which five different players scored. Martin capped the streak with a 3-pointer and the Leafs took their first lead (33-32) since the opening minutes with 2:14 to play in the half. The teams traded baskets before heading into the locker rooms with Goshen up 35-34.
After Martin opened the second half with a layup, it was all Wildcats, They immediately went on a 9-0 spurt behind two more Hopkins baskets and opened up another lead at 42-37. They never again trailed. After hitting just 29% (7-of-24) from the free throw line in the first half, they were able to hold on by draining 17-of-23 (74%) from the charity stripe in the second stanza.
The Maple Leafs finish the season at 18-13 overall. They earned their highest ever national ranking at #12 in December on the heels of a 13-game winning streak, but finished with a 1-5 mark in February.