Both Maple Leaf basketball teams picked up key wins against fierce rival Bethel College in front of a filled Gunden Gymnasium Saturday afternoon.The women posted a 71-52 victory while the men took down the 12th-ranked team in the nation by a much closer margin, 76-74.
Both women’s teams started with a sluggish first quarter, which ended with a one-point advantage for Goshen, 11-10.
Goshen hit their stride in the second quarter and used a collective effort to push the lead to 36-17 by halftime.
Seven Maple Leafs found their way into the scoring column in the first half, with Gabby Williams and Sophia Sears, both juniors, tallying eight points apiece.
The visiting Pilots were able to gain hints of hope throughout the third quarter, but Goshen used a strong shooting performance from the free throw line (15-of-19) to keep a sizable lead and cruise to the final of 71-52.
Williams ended with 16 points and 11 rebounds, her eighth double-double of the season, third against Crossroads League opponents. Sears also finished with 16 points, including a perfect 7-of-7 foul shots.
Sears also added five assists on the day, bringing her career total to 263, sixth in Goshen College history. The team improved to 13-5 on the season, 5-1 in league play.
The men’s contest followed, taking on the Bethel College men’s team.
With the teams tied at 21-21 with six minutes left, Goshen used 6-of-8 shooting from the field to push out to a 36-25 lead at the intermission.
Coming out of the break Goshen kept the home crowd happy, extending the lead up as great as 15 points, but the visitors fought hard and were able to whittle the lead down to three points with only a minute left in regulation time.
Three Maple Leafs took trips to the free throw line in that final minute, and Conner Funkhouser, a sophomore, knocked down the clinching free throws with four seconds remaining.
Dominique Bolden, a senior, led Goshen with 20 points, nine boards, and two blocks.
Also scoring in double digits for the Leafs were Funkhouser, Christian Grider, a sophomore, and Austin Hayden, a first-year.
With the win Goshen improved to 3-3 in league play, 11-7 overall.
The teams will play Marian University on Saturday.