Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams were in action this past weekend. The men’s team failed to defend the Ruth Gunden Gymnasium as they fell to Trinity International University 79-93 on Saturday. Meanwhile, the women’s team traveled to Western Wisconsin for a weekend tournament hosted by Viterbo University. The Maple Leafs lost Friday’s matchup 77-56 before bouncing back for Saturday’s game to win 70-62.
At home, the men began the game playing their brand of basketball. They like to play a physical defense, and when attacking, they look for layups and hunt for 3-point opportunities.
On offense, the Maple Leafs were paced in the first half by junior Tahj Curry, who scored 10 points leading the Maple Leafs into the locker room. The Maple Leafs found themselves in a 44-38 hole after 20 minutes of play.
In the second half, the Maple Leafs offense looked to Ben Cotton, a senior, who got the hot hand from behind the arch out of the gate. Cotton hit back-to-back threes for the Maple Leafs to cut their halftime deficit down to six.
The Trojans of Trinity International University responded to the Cotton threes, becoming the story of the second half the Trojans were a resilient group. With their stifling defense and quick transition offensive looks down the stretch, they were able to put away and close the Maple Leafs with a final score reading 93-79.
Leading the way for the Maple Leafs was Curry with 21; Cotton with 17; Michael Bowers, a junior, with 13; and Robert Sanders, a sophomore, off of the bench with 10.
The men’s basketball team received another loss on Tuesday night against Division 1 school, Oakland University. The Maple Leafs lost 94-66. The men look to rebound off these defeats on Saturday when they host Concordia University.
On the women’s end, the Maple Leafs returned to the court on Saturday, determined to split their weekend double header, following the previous day’s 77-56 defeat to (RV) Cardinal Stritch University.
The scoring began right off of the jump by senior Alyson Prigge, who canned four three-balls in the first quarter. The Maple Leafs hopped out to a 21-12 advantage after 10 minutes against Mount Mercy University.
The Maple Leafs had no problem scoring the ball on this day, as the scoring continued to come in bunches. In the second quarter, junior Claire Rauck picked up right where Prigge left off, hitting two threes of her own to lead the Maple Leafs into halftime with a 39-26 advantage.
Out of the half Prigge found her range again, scoring 11 third-quarter points. Rauck added seven off of the bench in the third to give the Maple Leafs the 20-point advantage entering the fourth quarter.
The Maple Leafs closed out the Mustangs 70-62.
Prigge scored a career-high 27 points, which was good enough to name her Maple Leaf of the Week. Rauck added 13, and Graysen Cockerham, a sophomore, scored nine.
Up next for the Maple Leafs is the 2019 Maple Leaf Shootout. This event is hosted at Goshen, where the women will take on Roosevelt University on Friday Nov. 8, and Calumet College of St. Joseph the next day, Nov. 9. Grace College will also participate in the event.