Maple Leafs Can't Slow High-Powered USF Attack
GOSHEN, Ind. - The Goshen College women's basketball team could not keep pace with one of the conferences top offensive teams as they dropped a Mid-Central College Conference contest, 63-92 to the University of Saint Francis.
The Cougars - ranked #23 in the latest NAIA DII poll - came in second in the conference in scoring and showed why Thursday night. They combined a powerful inside presence - which led to 51% shooting in the first half - with deadly outside shooting (11 3-pointers on the night).
After falling behind 15-6 just over six minutes in, the Maple Leafs battled back as they looked to make a game of it. Goshen managed to pull within three points on several occasions in the first half before turnovers and Saint Francis' ability to finish strong sent them on an 8-0 run late in the half.
"I thought their depth and fresh legs simply wore us out tonight, especially at the end of halves," said head coach Steve Wiktorowski. "We matched them offensively a lot of the time tonight. We have struggled to get scoring from people other than starters, and our best shooter, Jenna Rusmisel, came up sick just before the game."
Down 33-47 at the half, the Leafs were not able to put together a consistent run as they went on to fall on their home court for the first time in the last four home games.
"It is very hard for us to match them when they can bring several people off the bench who score in double figures," Wiktorowski added. "We struggled to stop their dribble penetration and turned the ball over too much, especially when we were tired, but I thought we did a good job of adjusting some things at halftime and were more difficult to guard to open the second half. We made a couple runs at them and played hard, we just were not a match for them over 40 minutes of time."
Junior Cassie Greives had another outstanding night as she tallied her seventh double-double of the season on 20 points and 14 rebounds. Senior Lindsay Gangloff backed up a career high 20 points on Tuesday with 17 more points, while junior Erica Yost registered 12 points and six assists for the Leafs.
"I thought Cassie Greives was a real force inside tonight," Wiktorowski added. "She is now a player with good post moves and handles double teams so much better, whereas in the past she just relied on her strength. Lindsay Gangloff continues to be a difficult match up lately and is growing so much in her confidence level.
Another tough challenge awaits Goshen on Saturday as they travel to Huntington University. The Foresters received votes in the last NAIA poll and are consistently one of the top programs in the nation.