For the first time ever, Goshen has swept Bethel in both men’s and women’s basketball in the same season.
Saturday afternoon the Maple Leaf basketball teams traveled to Mishawaka and got the job done against fierce rival Bethel College. Goshen’s 19th-ranked women posted a 77-60 victory while the men took down the 11th-ranked team in the nation by a much closer margin, winning 62-59.
The women started off the afternoon and a close first quarter ended with a one-point advantage for the Maple Leafs, 21-20. Goshen increased its defensive intensity in the second quarter and it paid off, as the Maple Leafs used an 11-0 run over four minutes in the middle of the quarter. The Pilots only scored 11 points in the second quarter while the Maple Leafs tallied 25 points and took a 46-31 lead into the halftime break.
Goshen was able to maintain the double-digit lead the rest of the game, despite poor shooting in the third quarter. The Pilots were unable to gain momentum on their home court. Goshen’s lead grew as high as 19 with 2:51 left in the contest, and the team cruised to the final of 77-60.
Tecca ended with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field, including 4-of-8 from distance, and set the school record for most field goal attempts in a career when she took a jumper with 6:23 left in the second quarter. Williams finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds, her 12th double-double of the season, fifth against Crossroads League opponents. Thomas also finished in double figures with 16 points, including a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe.
The team improved to 21-7 on the season, 13-3 in league play.
The men’s team followed, taking on the Bethel College men’s team. The teams were tied at 22-22 with 6:08 left in the first half, and two Bethel players combined for eight points to push out to a 30-26 lead by the intermission.
Coming out of the break Bethel bumped the lead out to a game-high eight points, 38-30. However, Goshen wasn’t done just yet, as the visitors fought hard and were able to whittle the lead down and tie the contest with just under 12 minutes left in regulation. The game would stay within two points the rest of the way, with the teams trading the lead eight times in the final 11 minutes of play. With only 37 seconds left in the game, a Bethel jumper gave the hosts their final points and a 59-58 lead.
Dominique Bolden, a senior, took two trips to the free throw line after that and went 2-of-2 on both occasions to give Goshen the final 62-59 lead with 10 seconds remaining. The Pilots ended up with two chances to tie it up, but strong Maple Leaf defense shut the door, and the Maple Leafs improved to 8-8 in league play, 17-11 overall.
Bolden was one of three Maple Leafs to finish with 12 points total, with Austin Hayden, first-year and Christian Grider, sophomore, also hitting that mark. Conner Funkhouser, sophomore, and Devin Heath-Granger, sophomore, each finished with seven points, seven rebounds, and four steals.
The men travelled to Upland on Tuesday evening to face off with the Taylor University Trojans, losing the contest 73-55. The women hosted the Trojans on Wednesday, with the game finishing after print deadline. Both teams wrap up the regular season on Saturday when they square off with Marian University, the men at Goshen and the women down at Marian.