Greives First Half, Holder's Second Leads Leafs To Win
GOSHEN, Ind. - The Maple Leafs used an aggressive defense to hold visiting Judson University to 29% shooting as they remained undefeated at the Roman Gingerich Recreation-Fitness Center with a 72-55 win Saturday afternoon.
After the teams traded baskets to open up the game, Goshen used a 11-3 run sparked by a 3-pointer by freshman Stormy Holder and a pair of inside hoops by sophomore Cassie Greives.
The Leafs would keep the advantage for the entire half before stretching it to 12 with lay ups by Erica Emanuel, Greives, and junior Heather Hahn with five minutes to play in the period.
"I thought we played a very solid first half coming off final exams in our zone defense," seventh-season head coach Steve Wiktorowski said. "Our effort on the boards kept them to one shot and they weren't hitting very well."
In fact, Goshen jumped to a 32-18 halftime lead as they limited the Eagles to just 21% shooting in the first period. Greives nearly had her seventh double-double of the season as she scored eight points and grabbed an incredible 10 rebounds in the first 20 minutes alone. Greives would finish the day with 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Senior Krystal Duensing started the second half strong for the Leafs as she continued her recent long-range shooting tear with a 3-pointer just ten seconds into the half. Sophomore Kelsey Herschberger extended the lead to 19 with a pair of free throws just two minutes later.
With a big lead at home, the Leafs eased off the pedal a little, but only let the Eagles cut the gap to under 15 once in the second half. With an 8-2 run, Judson trimmed the lead to 54-40 with 7:09 on the clock.
Just over 30 seconds later, however, Holder received a kick-out pass from Herschberger and promptly drained a long 3-pointer to increase the lead back to 17.
Holder literally stole the show in the second half, scoring 14 of her game-high 19 points in the final half. She hit on 5-of-9 from the field, 3-of-6 from long range and 6-of-8 from the free throw line.
"We weren't quite as sharp the second half with our defense and rebounding, but we did a good job of getting the ball inside and to the free throw line for 25 attempts," explained Wiktorowski. "We weren't always real pretty against their defense, but we were able to pretty much keep the margin the same as it was at halftime, mainly by hitting our free throws when we needed to. When we went to our bench, our level of play usually remained pretty high which is important for us."
Goshen had nine different players enter the scoring column and received 18 points off the bench led by Hahn, who scored eight to go with six rebounds.
"I thought Stormy was real strong today and really played with a lot for intelligence for a first year player," added Wiktorowski. "Cassie was real tough on the boards and was our anchor under the basket on defense and I thought Rachel Allen and Krystal Duensing did a very nice job defensively of finding their shooters out front and was a big reason they didn't shoot like they normally do."
Duensing did hit a pair of three's as she finished with nine points and five rebounds, while Allen added 10 points for the Leafs.
Goshen will now head to Ohio where they will face off against Ohio Dominican University on Tuesday before taking on sister-school Bluffton University on Wednesday.
"We've won three of our last four games and I think you can really see confidence building in our young players," Wiktorowski concluded as he looks forward to this week. "We go on the road to Ohio for two tough back-to-back games and hopefully what we've been able to do at home lately will begin to show up more on the road than it has so far."