The Goshen men’s basketball team nearly managed to pull off an upset over # 19 Indiana Wesleyan University Tuesday night. The Leaf’s regained possession in the waning seconds of the game, with a chance to tie up the game with a field goal, or win with a three. Unfortunately, the opportunity never even presented itself. Goshen ended up committing an offensive foul as time expired.
Goshen took the lead early in the game, but lost it for good when Wesleyan went on a 10-2 scoring run midway through the first quarter. The Wildcats managed to extend their lead to 11 points late in the half, but Goshen clawed back to within 8 at halftime. The teams went to the locker rooms with a score of 35 to 27.
Goshen looked promising again in the second half, sinking their first four and 5-7 to reduce the deficit to two points. Their ability to hold the momentum was once again tested, as nationally ranked Indiana Wesleyan went on another 11 point drive, ending with just under 15 minutes to play.
While Goshen never managed to take control of the game, they did manage never to lose intensity. The tension on the court was palpable, especially within the last nine minutes, as the Leaf’s closed the gap to 2 points on 6 different occasions.
Goshen’s focus was most exciting as they trailed by 7 points in the final 38 seconds of the game. Senior Carl Steen posted 2, and classmate Jeremy Pope pulled off a defensive steal, setting up a three from Nate Manning. With 22 seconds remaining, and a score of 73-75 on the board, the Wildcats received the ball back and attempted to run the clock. Goshen fouled Wesleyan twice in the remaining seconds, sending Jordan Weidner to the line twice. Weidner scored all four for the Cats, but Goshen managed to respond in both instances with a two from Austin Hefley and a layup from Casey Pratt.
Goshen forced a turnover on Indiana Wesleyans final possession, but the ensuing play proved to be the nail in the coffin for the leafs, as Manning was called for charging as the clock wound out.
Despite the close loss, the game looked promising for the Leafs, who finished out their fall Mid Central Conference play against IWU. Goshen was effective at minimizing the lengths of their opponents’ runs, keeping the game constantly within reach. In addition, four players from Goshen were able to score in the double digits. Hefley was the Leafs high scorer with 19 points, while Kyle Davis had 15, Pope 14, and Manning 12.
With an overall record of 3-5, the Leafs get back to out of conference action this Friday as they travel to Ohio to compete in the Mount Vernon Nazarene University Tournament.