Four In Double Figures As Leafs Win 79-72 In Home Opener
GOSHEN, Ind. - Four Maple Leafs scored double-digit points and the Goshen College women's basketball team came from behind for a 79-72 victory over Indiana Tech Wednesday night in its home opener.
"This was a nice win because I thought we could have just as easily lost as pulled it out," head coach Steve Wiktorowski said. "It was a game of spurts, and after coming out and playing well, we were really up and down after that."
After struggling from the field in their season-opening loss on Saturday, the Leafs missed their first four shots against Indiana Tech and fell behind 4-0. Started by an Erica Yost layup, however, Goshen went on a 12-2 spurt to open up a six-point lead eight minutes into the game.
As Wiktorowski pointed out, the game was filled with streaks and Indiana Tech was next up as they used an 11-2 run to retake the lead. They went on to lead by as many as eight in the first 20 minutes before taking a 35-30 lead into the locker rooms.
The Warriors started the second half red-hot and stretched their lead to 13 just three minutes into the frame. Goshen immediately responded with an 8-0 spurt to get within five, but Indiana Tech bounced back with a 3-pointer and layup as the lead increased back to double-digits.
Down 52-42, a young Maple Leafs team didn't give up. Instead, they heated up. Goshen used a 10-0 streak to tie the game at the midway point of the second half and stuck within striking distance the rest of the way.
"We shot the ball well the second half and our press and zone took them out of their offensive rhythm the last ten minutes," Wiktorowski explained. "Erica Yost and Cassie Greives formed a good inside-outside combination, and the two freshmen (Jenna Rusmisel and Sam Hawk) stepped up and hit some big shots down the stretch. We shot the ball better than in our first game, and did a nice job of getting to the line and converting them, especially during crunch time."
Down 59-64 with 4:42 to play, Rusmisel nailed a 3-pointer, while Greives followed with a game-tying lay up on the next possession. After another defensive stop, Yost hit a jumper giving the Leafs their first lead since the first half. And they would hold onto it as they hit 13-of-15 from the free throw line down the stretch.
Goshen hit 50% from the field, including 43% from long range, while also knocking down 24-of-30 from the free throw line as they out scored the Warriors 49-37 in the second half.
"I thought one of the unsung heroes was Jessica Carney tonight," Wiktorowski added. "The senior came off the bench the first half when Cassie Greives picked up two fouls in our first two possessions and was really solid on defense and the boards. Lindsay Gangloff had a quiet but effective game tonight, and gave us leadership."
Junior Cassie Greives led the way with 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting. She also registered her first double-double of the season, grabbing 12 rebounds. Junior Erica Yost totaled 18 points, while freshman Jenna Rusmisel and Sam Hawk scored 15 and 13, respectively.
"We took a nice step forward overall from the IUSB game, and hopefully we can continue to do so against two proverbially strong teams in Ohio Dominican and Cardinal Stritch this weekend," Wiktorowski concluded. Goshen hosts the RiverBend Roundball Review this weekend starting at 6:00 p.m. on Friday when Goshen plays #24 Cardinal Stritch. Immediately following, #8 Bethel will face off against Ohio Dominican.