Goshen women’s basketball team proved to be too much for Mount Vernon Nazarene on Saturday afternoon, handily defeating the Cougars 88-53 at Gunden Gymnasium. The win earned Goshen a season sweep against their third conference opponent.

With the victory, Goshen matches their season win total and improves past their conference record from last season, now 18-6 in the season and 10-2 in the Crossroads League, holding second place with a three-game cushion from third. Mount Vernon falls to 10-14, 4-8 in league play and in ninth place.

Both teams started hot from the field, and just four minutes into the contest the score was up at 11-11. Goshen then used a 12-5 run to finish the first quarter up 23-16. Six Maple Leafs entered the scored in the quarter, with Sophia Sears, a junior, leading the way with six points.

Goshen’s traps on defense created havoc for the Cougars, who turned the ball over 13 times in the first half, including nine in the second stanza. The high defensive pressure coupled with continued hot shooting helped the Maple Leafs win the second quarter battle 29-14. Tyra Carver, a senior, led Goshen into the halftime break, knocking down back-to-back 3’s in the last minute, including a buzzer-beater, leaving the Maple Leafs with a commanding 52-30 lead.

The third quarter proved to be much of the same, with the Maple Leafs maintaining their high-intensity defense. Mount Vernon couldn’t cut the lead smaller than 20, as Goshen held the Cougars to just three made field goals and two free throws for a total of eight points in the quarter. The Maple Leafs finished off eight field goals and added 3-of-4 shooting from the charity stripe for 21 points in the third, pushing the lead up to 35 with 10 minutes remaining.

Carver finished with a team-high 13 points, all scored in the first half. Jo’Mani Thomas, a senior, while Gabby Williams and Lynnia Noel, both juniors, added 12 apiece. Twelve Maple Leafs entered the scoring column, including all four underclassmen (Allie Lake six, Haley Archibeque six, Sydney Stein two, and Hanna Hochstetler two).

The team shot 10-of-20 from 3-point range and grabbed 36 rebounds, with only one player not recording a rebound. Goshen’s bench had a big game, seven players combined for 36 points.

Goshen’s season continued Wednesday night on the road at Indiana Wesleyan University, with the game finishing after print deadline. The second half of the conference season continues Saturday when the team hosts Huntington University.  Tip-off will be at 1 p.m. in Gunden Gymnasium.