The Goshen College men’s basketball team made a late push but ultimately fell 75-70 to the Cougars of Mount Vernon Nazarene University on Tuesday night in Mount Vernon, Ohio.
The Leafs trailed by as many as 14 with just under 12 minutes to play before charging back to cut the lead to 59-57 with five and a half minutes remaining.
Mount Vernon attempted to pull away late, but Goshen refused to let up and managed to stay within striking distance throughout the game’s closing minutes.
However, the Leafs comeback attempt fell short as clutch free throw shooting and the dwindling clock allowed the Cougars to emerge with the conference victory.
Conner Funkhouser, a junior, scored 16 points to lead Goshen offensively with Billy Geschke, a junior, Xavier Newson and Dominique Cartier, seniors, all scoring in double figures with 12, 11 and 10 respectively. Funkhouser and Geschke combined to score 28 of the Leafs’ 34 points off the bench.
Newson grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds with Christian Grider, a junior, totaling seven and Kevin Phillips, a senior, and Alhassan Barrie, a sophomore, each contributing five. Cartier dished out five assists to lead the Leafs with Funkhouser and Devin Heath-Granger, a junior, recording three apiece.
Goshen only committed eight turnovers to Mount Vernon’s 10, and the Leafs’ bench outscored the Cougars’ bench 34-9, but they were still unable to come away with the victory.
Goshen was unable to record a block while the Cougars recorded seven to go along with 21 team assists to Goshen’s 12. Each team recorded 34 total rebounds in the contest.
With the loss the Leafs’ record falls to 10-17 (3-12 Crossroads League) on the season.
Goshen will be back in action looking to end a six-game skid Saturday afternoon against conference opponent Taylor University. The Leafs will host the Trojans at 3 p.m. in Gunden Gymnasium on senior day, with the women’s game tipping off at 1 p.m.