Despite a balanced scoring attack that saw five players score at least eight points, the Goshen women’s basketball team dropped a conference game at Marian Wednesday night, 83-54.Jaime Stack and Sierria Burlage, both first-years, led the Maple Leafs with 11 points apiece; Kari Heusinkveld, a senior, pitched in 10 for Goshen(3-22, 0-13).
Burlage grabbed 10 rebounds to lead both teams as Goshen won the battle on the glass 36-33. Adrienne Sahm had 17 points to lead a quartet of double-figure scorers for the Knights (16-6, 8-5).
Saturday afternoon, Goshen wrapped up a three-game homestand with a chance to make a splash at the top of the MCC standings as they hosted the University of Saint Francis. The Cougars (15-9, 7-5) came into the contest tied for third in the MCC.
Saint Francis jumped out to an early lead, taking a 5-2 advantage with just more than a minute elapsing. Less than three minutes later, the Maple Leafs pulled into the first of four first-half ties. Burlage’s second field goal in as many minutes brought the score to 8-8 with 16:02 left in the first period.
The teams traded buckets, tying the score again at 9, 11 and 13 before Goshen pulled ahead. A pair of field goals from guard Avery Bischoff, a first-year, gave Goshen its first multiple-possession lead at 18-13 before Saint Francis retook the advantage with 9:01 left until the intermission.
The Maple Leafs used an 11-4 run to lead by as many as seven points, closing out the first half with a 34-31 lead behind 57 percent shooting. The Goshen lead continued into the second half until Cougar guard Rebecca Burch tied the score at 36 with 17:22 remaining. From that point forward, Saint Francis would not trail.
The second half was dominated by relatively short runs. USF scored 10 of the next 14 points, holding Goshen to 1-for-5 shooting during that four-minute stretch. Over the next several possessions, the score stayed nearly even: a six-point Cougar lead with 14:07 left varied by no more than two points for nearly nine minutes.
Balanced scoring closed out the game for St. Francis, as no player scored more than two field goals in the final 6:46. Guard Kayla Mullins led all USF scorers with 17 points; she was eclipsed in the box score only by Burlage’s 20 points and Stack’s 18. Burlage set a career high for the third straight game; Stack grabbed 11 rebounds for her fifth career double-double.
Saturday, the Maple Leafs travel to Winona Lake to take on perennial rival Grace College. The Lancers are 14-10, 6-6 in the MCC, and receiving votes in the coaches’ poll. The Lancers entered Tuesday night’s game against Spring Arbor on a skid, having dropped five of their last seven games since a 67-46 win at Goshen on Thursday, Jan. 5.