GOSHEN, Ind. – Despite a career high 15 points by freshman Tyra Carver and several frantic comeback efforts, the Goshen College women's basketball team was unable to upset NAIA DII #22 Taylor University Tuesday night.
The Trojans hit 47% from the field and led wire-to-wire on way to an 82-66 victory in both team's Crossroads League opener.
"We played fearless tonight and that is what we have been lacking," second-year head coach Stephanie Miller said. "The girls have wanted to win, but have been more afraid to lose and make mistakes than intent on winning. There is talent, no doubt, but our efforts will need to be like this every night. If it is, we will definitely turn the corner."
It was a shaky start to league play for the Maple Leafs who turned the ball over three times in the first three and a half minutes. The Trojans took advantage, hitting their first three from the field and four from the free throw line for an early 10-0 lead.
Just over four minutes in, Carver got Goshen on the board for the first time. She picked off a pass and then finished in the lane, sparking a quick 7-2 Maple Leaf run.
Five minutes later, though, the visitors used an old-fashioned 3-point playboy Becca Daniels to extend their advantage to 14 points (25-11). A Tess Randolph 3-pointer eventually put them up by as many as 16 before a late first-half run by Goshen.
Still trailing by 13 (36-23) with just five minutes left in the period, the Leafs went on a furious run to get back into the contest. Five different players scored during a four-minute stretch which saw Goshen score 11 straight. The streak helped the hosts trail by just six (40-34) at the halftime intermission.
Taylor came out strong again in the second half, scoring 15 of the first 16 points of the stanza to open back up a 16-point cushion. They eventually led by as many as 18, but Goshen wouldn't go away. Freshman Liz Tecca capped an 11-2 Maple Leaf run with a 3-pointer and the deficit was back to single digits (59-50). That would be as close as Goshen would get, though.
Carver's 15 points (7-of-10 shooting) led Goshen, while Tecca chipped in 14 (nine in second half), and senior Mary Hathaway had a game-high 15 rebounds. Taylor was led by Erin Guarneri who hit 10-of-14 from the field for a game-high 24 points.
"I am proud of the effort and team unity tonight," Miller explained. "We fought through two big deficits and showed character, and that's what we are going to need to put pressure on league teams. Tyra Carver had a great burst of energy for us and just really showed more of her true colors tonight. Mary was also strong for us and her rebounding was exactly what we needed to keep us right in the game. The teams intensity as a whole, was much improved. We will take all the tough lessons from this first stretch and keep working to apply it to our next game."
The Maple Leafs (0-6, 0-1 CL) will compete in the Marian University Tournament with match ups against Lourdes University (Ohio) and Johnson and Wales University (Colo.) over the weekend.