Deck: Despite good shooting percentages, Goshen fell to Mt. Vernon last Tuesday night.

The Goshen Men’s basketball team rode a two-game winning streak into Tuesday night’s clash with the Cougars of Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Freshman Christian Grider appeared to secure the back-and-forth battle for the Maple Leafs by scoring, giving Goshen a 1 point lead with only 11 seconds remaining in the game. But it was the Cougars who had the last laugh as MVNU’s Eric Roby tipped a missed shot at the buzzer to send Goshen home empty-handed.

After falling behind in the game’s opening minutes, Goshen fought back to hold a 35-29 lead at the end of the heavily contested first half. Early in the second half, the Leafs tried to pull away several times, but just couldn’t shake the Cougars who always seemed able to keep themselves in the game. Goshen conceded a layup with 32 seconds remaining to fall behind 64-65 before Grider put back sophomore Dominique Cartier’s missed attempt with 11 seconds left on the clock. The Cougars then took a timeout to set up their offense for the game’s final possession. MVNU’s Martell Medley missed a shot with seconds remaining but Roby managed to tip the ball in, securing the conference victory for the Cougars.

The Maple Leafs were without one of their key players for most of the night as junior Dominique Bolden was injured and had to leave the game before halftime. Although his teammates attempted to fill the void, Bolden’s absence had an impressive effect. Senior Stefon Luckey scored a team high 19 points and fellow senior Brandon Demmings added 10 of his own. Grider contributed a team-high 3 assists and 5 rebounds.

Goshen had a better night shooting than Mount Vernon, going 43.4% on field goals, 34.8% from 3 point, and 85.7% from the line, while the Cougars went 43.3%, 18.2%, and 73.3%. Unfortunately, the Maple Leafs couldn’t make that work to their advantage in the long run. And despite creating more turnovers and dominating on second chance points 17-5, it was Mount Vernon who won the category that ultimately matters, the score.

After the loss, Goshen is now 11-8 on the season and 4-3 in conference play. The Maple Leafs will host the Taylor University Trojans with the tip-off starting at 3 PM on Saturday, January 17th.