Last night, the 8-13 Goshen College’s women’s basketball team hosted the 2-16 Spring Arbor University Cougars. Both teams came into the game highly motivated, looking for their first conference win so far. In the end, it was the Cougars who broke their losing streak in a 56-48 victory.
After giving up the first basket of the game, the Leafs went on a 13-3 run over the course of 8 minutes. Through great defense, Goshen was able to force the Cougars into committing turnover after turnover. On the offensive end, the Maple Leafs played smart and patient; waiting for the right moment to put the ball in the post for an easy layup.
Things changed once Spring Arbor was able to keep the ball and penetrate the Leafs defense. By the time four minutes were left in the first half, the Cougars had managed to bring the score to 19-17, Goshen’s lead. After an exchange of baskets, Spring Arbor drained a three-pointer to tie the game at 22 with under a minute on the clock. The following possession, Goshen missed a field goal and their opponents were able to drive to the basket, draw a foul, and make a free throw. Going into the break, the Cougars not only had the lead, 23-22, but also the momentum.
This energy carried with Spring Arbor right into the second half, where they came out strong, taking a 33-26 advantage early. Goshen was able to rally within two thanks to some tough defense and great free throw shooting by Junior Guard Erica Yost, but that was the closest they’d get for the remainder of the game.
The Cougars really picked up their defensive-intensity during the second half, forcing the Leafs to shoot 30% from the field. With seven minutes remaining on the clock, both teams had performed enough fouls to already be in the bonus. This would prove fatal in the long run as Goshen needed to foul to stop the clock in the finishing moments. The final score ended up being Goshen 48, Spring Arbor 56.
With this loss, the Leafs move to 8-14 overall and 0-8 in conference. The women’s next two games are away from home at Indiana Wesleyan University and Bethel College. Their next game on campus will be against Grace College on Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. All games remaining are against a conference opponent, where each and every game iimpacts where they will end up in the conference tournament.