MVNU 67, Goshen 65
MOUNT VERNON— Despite having won just one game all season, the Goshen Maple Leafs gave the Mount Vernon Nazarene University women’s basketball team all it could handle Wednesday.
The Cougars used a strong third quarter to gain its first lead of the game, then had a final defensive stop to hold off a late surge to win, 67-65.
The Maple Leafs started the game fast, as they did in the first matchup between the two teams. Goshen had 12 of the first 14 points in the contest, eventually going into the halftime break with a 32-29 edge.
MVNU however picked up its play in the third quarter, and seized its first lead of the game as Natalie Carpenter hit a floater in the lane to make it 37-36 early in the second half. That basket was part of a 6-0 run for the Cougars, and the lead was one that was never relinquished over the final 17 minutes of play despite pressure from the home side.
MVNU outscored Goshen 23-12 in the third quarter, and grew its lead to as large as 12 points early in the fourth. Goshen however began to slowly chip into their deficit, setting the stage for a wild final minute of play.
Holding a two-point lead, the Cougars commited a shot clock violation with 10 seconds left, setting the stage for a final Goshen possession to determine the outcome.
MVNU wisely intentionally fouled to take a few seconds off the clock, as Goshen was not yet in the bonus for the quarter. After the Maple Leaf inbound with five seconds left, the Cougars’ defense held up and contested the drive from Carly O’Neal at the final buzzer, as her attempt clanged off the front of the rim.
Elizabeth Fee was a critical component in the win, as she compiled her first career double-double with 10 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. She also added four assists as the starting point guard for the Cougars in the absence of Dani Ellerbrock.
Taylor Gregory added 17 points and 12 rebounds. Sierra Basista added 12 points for the Cougars, while Natalie Carpenter finished with 10 points and six rebounds. Sophie Kinnard and Rachel Perry also contributed with seven points apiece.
The win halted a six game losing streak for MVNU (15-12, 7-8 CL). The Cougars have now secured a place in the Crossroads League Tournament, and will next face Bethel College (7-20, 2-13 CL) on Saturday at 1 p.m.