GOSHEN, Ind. – A second-half run by visiting Mount Vernon Nazarene University allowed them to take a Crossroads League match up with the Goshen College women's basketball team 53-45 Wednesday night.
Goshen started the night strong, scoring the first five points of the contest, including a Sam Hawk 3-pointer. The visitors quickly responded, though, with a 9-0 spurt to take their first lead.
The first half was an offensive struggle as neither side was able to get in a rhythm. The Cougars eventually led by as many as seven (14-9) just past the midway point, but a pair of Megan Strock 3-pointers cut the gap to a single point (16-15) with 6:39 to play.
Just four more baskets were scored the rest of the half with the visitors taking a 23-19 lead into the locker rooms for the intermission.
Much like the opening period, the Maple Leafs started the second half well and a pair of Jaime Stack baskets knotted the score at 25-25 five minutes in.
The teams traded 3-pointers twice over the next five minutes, but Mount Vernon was left clinging to a one-point cushion (33-32) with ten minutes to play. That is when they made their move. A 9-0 stretch by the visitors, helped by four free throws, put them up ten (42-32) with just 4:50 left on the clock.
Freshman Tyra Carver tried to pull Goshen back into the game, scoring 13 of her team-high 15 points in the second half, but the Leafs never got closer than six. Stack added nine points and six rebounds for Goshen, while Hawk had eight points and seven rebounds.
Melissa Eikholt led Mount Vernon with 14 points and Emily Steveley registered a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
It was a tough shooting night for both squads with the visitors having a slim 31.7% to 31.4% advantage. They also won the rebounding battle 52-41, while both teams turned the ball over 24 times. Goshen hit 6-of-20 from beyond the arc, but hit just 7-of-12 (58%) from the free throw line - including missing front end of bonus four times - and were limited to its third-lowest scoring output of the season.
The loss completes the first half of Crossroads League play for the Maple Leafs (2-19, 0-9 CL) who have dropped seven straight overall. They look to rebound on Saturday when they travel to Taylor University.