GOSHEN, Ind. – The Goshen College women's basketball team started on a 9-0 run and led wire-to-wire, snapping a five-game slide as they defeated visiting Judson University 83-65 Monday night.
"This was the kind of team performance it's going to take to win games in our league," third-year head coach Stephanie Miller said. "We have the growing talent, we also have some depth - which is new from past years - but what we have been lacking is toughness and tonight, we captured that in a big way. We were in attack mode from the top and our energy and toughness carried us through."
"I wasn't sure what to expect as far as game attendance over the break with students gone, but we had such a fun and energetic crowd tonight," Miller added. "I was glad we could give them a great show because they sure gave us a nice lift of extra enthusiasm."
Four Maple Leafs finished the contest in double figures as they shot 48% from the field and 35% from long range. Sophomore Liz Tecca hit four 3-pointers to lead the team with 18 points, classmate Jo'Mani Thomas had 17 and freshman Lynnia Noel 16. Sophomore Tyra Carver posted 11 points and 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season and career.
Diamond Courts paced the visitors with 15 points, while Kelli Ludwig chipped in 13. Judson out rebounded Goshen 43-37, but shot just 35% from the field.
The Maple Leafs held the Eagles leading scorer and rebounder, Diamond Williams, to just eight points (15.0 average) and five rebounds (10.9 average). They also forced 21 turnovers, reversing them into 30 points. Goshen also had 15 or less (15) of their own miscues for the third straight contest.
Thomas scored back-to-back baskets to open the game and after Noel and Carver both chipped in, the Leafs were up 9-0 less than three minutes in. Judson answered with five straight, but Tecca's first 3-pointer of the game settled things back down in Goshen's favor.
The closest the Eagles got in the first half was after Courts capitalized on an offensive rebound and drained one of her two 3-pointers on the night to cut their gap to a single point (18-17). Noel led the Maple Leaf charge, though, including a long ball to put the hosts back up six (25-19) with just over eight left in the opening half.
Goshen then used an 8-0 spurt to go up double digits before closing the half by scoring the last five points to take a 44-29 lead into the intermission. Judson answered out of the locker room, starting the second period on a 10-1 run, but the Leafs ability to score inside proved to be the difference. They consistently drove the lane, scoring six straight inside to stretch the gap back to double figures (52-39). Tecca's shooting was a key to the lead staying at ten-plus the rest of the way.
"We have been struggling to get high level play by more than two kids at a time, but got that tonight," Miller continued. "When we share the ball and share the load, we can really be competitive. This was a nice boost for us heading into 2014 and into the heart of conference play."
The win concluded the non-conference portion of the Maple Leafs schedule. At 3-12 overall, Goshen returns to Crossroads League play when they host NAIA DII #1 University of Saint Francis on Saturday