A balanced scoring attack from Goshen gave the Maple Leafs their first conference victory over rival team Bethel College last Wednesday evening.
The Leafs spread the ball around early as six of the seven players recorded baskets in the first quarter. The three ball was good to Goshen early in the first quarter as freshman guard Mariah Roe and junior forward Alyson Prigge knocked down back-to-back triples to start the game.
The Pilots responded quickly as they went on a 12-0 run to surge ahead and take the lead at 14-6. From there, back-and-forth scoring from the two teams made for entertaining basketball and, at the end of the first quarter, the teams were all square at 18 points apiece.
Once again, hot shooting from the Leafs aided a strong second quarter as they shot 10-14 from the field, including 5-8 from three.
Despite the 25-point quarter from Goshen, the Pilots hung tough, scoring 20 points of their own, including four threes. At the end of the first half, Goshen had the edge in the high-scoring contest, 43-38.
A 10-0 run to open the second half gave the Leafs a comfortable 13-point lead with just over 15 minutes to play. Consistent scoring on the offensive end gave GC a 10-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
A three from the Pilots would close the gap to four with 40 seconds remaining, but stellar free throw shooting down the stretch gave the Maple Leafs their first conference victory of the season.
On the night, Goshen shot 53 percent from the field, 44 percent from the three, and 85 percent from the free throw line. In addition, 21 of their 28 field goals were assisted on.
Caitlyn O’Neal, senior guard and captain of the Maple Leafs, emphasized how proud she was of the team after the victory.
“For the first time all season, all of us on our team are all in,” O’Neal said.
The outstanding offensive performance was the Maple Leafs’ highest point total of the season and highest since 2016.
Freshman Graysen Cockerham led the balanced attack with 15 points, six rebounds and five assists. Roe and O’Neal each had 14, Chapman added 13, sophomore forward Keyaira Murff chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds, senior guard Haley Archibeque tallied 10 points and six assists and Prigge contributed six points, six rebounds and four assists.
The Maple Leafs will host 19th-ranked Indiana Wesleyan for their next matchup on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 1 p.m.