Greives Helps Give Duensing A Win On Senior Day
GOSHEN, Ind. - Playing in the final home game of her outstanding four-year career as a Maple Leaf, senior Krystal Duensing got some help from her teammates as they helped lift her and Goshen to a 72-61 win over visiting Spring Arbor University Saturday afternoon.
"With this being Senior Day, our team really wanted to send Krystal out on a high note, and we responded with one of our most complete and consistent games since we've incurred all our recent injuries," said head coach Steve Wiktorowski. "I felt the big keys today were first half defense, and our overall shooting and rebounding. It was especially good to see us shoot with more confidence because that has been an area perhaps most affected by our injury situation."
The confidence started early for the Maple Leafs as they jumped out to a quick 14-2 lead led by the lone senior herself, Krystal Duensing. The Granger (Ind.) native scored eight points during the span, including nailing two 3-pointers as Goshen took immediate control of the game.
After Spring Arbor was able to cut the lead down to four, it was the inside game of the Maple Leafs which took control. Goshen scored three straight baskets in the paint as they stretched the advantage back to ten.
"We challenged our inside players to play better than they did the last time against them and they responded to the challenge very well," Wiktorowski explained. "We set the tone for the game in the first half with solid defense, and were the aggressors to start the second half."
Following another late run to end the half, Goshen took a 39-24 lead into the locker rooms. The Leafs again turned to the inside game to start the second period as they built as much as a 22-point lead early in the half. Spring Arbor, however, had no intentions of giving up as they began to shave chunks off the deficit. The determination to send Duensing out a winner, though, prevailed as Goshen's lead was never cut to single digits.
"Spring Arbor made a couple runs with their trapping defense," Wiktorowski admitted, "but we were able to get the ball inside or get fouled enough to put the game away."
Sophomore Cassie Greives led the way with 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting as she also registered her third-consecutive double-double with 16 rebounds. Junior Heather Hahn also hit 8-of-12 from the field to tally 19 points.
And Duensing - who ranks in the top ten in program history in 3-pointers, assists, free throws, and free throw percentage - added 16 points and five assists in her final home game to go out on winner on her home court.
"I thought Krystal Duensing set the tone for us with her early confidence in shooting the ball and getting it to our posts," said Wiktorowski. "Cassie Greives was really efficient and was very difficult to keep off the boards. After struggling some the first half, I thought Heather Hahn increased her intensity and had a very good second half."
The win was just as important for the Maple Leafs as a team as it moved them to 7-23 overall and 2-14 in the Mid-Central College Conference heading into the postseason. Goshen will have just a day and half before they travel to take part in the #8 vs. #9 MCC Tournament Play-In Game.
"Stormy Holder continues to regain her confidence on offense and helped us a lot against their trapping defense," added Wiktorowski. "Erica Emanuel had another solid game on both ends, and did one of her best jobs ever in setting up teammates with passes. Hopefully, this will give us some confidence and momentum as we head into the conference tournament where anything can happen."