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Foresters to host No. 10 Taylor

by Eric Andrews - eandrews@h-ponline.com

The No. 24 Huntington University women’s basketball team will host No. 10 Taylor tonight in a Crossroads League matchup in Platt Arena.

The Foresters enter the contest with an 8–3 record this season, including 1–2 in Crossroads League games.

Huntington is fresh off a 62–55 victory over Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Dec. 1, the Foresters’ first Crossroads League win of the season.

Junior guard Sarah Fryman led the offensive charge for the Foresters in the triumph, draining 19 points and adding a team-leading eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Sam Hammel performed well in her second game back in the Huntington lineup after missing six games with a lower-body injury, scoring 16 points. Hammel also tallied a game-high five steals in the win.

Overall, Fryman leads the Foresters in scoring with 169 points this season. Senior guard Maddie Richer’s 129 and senior forward Brooke Saylor’s 92 round out the point podium for Huntington, while Hammel’s 16.2 points per game leads the team in limited action this season.

Head coach Lori Culler stressed a need for the Foresters to improve their play against pressure, citing that as a struggle the team has faced of late. However, Culler feels encouraged heading into the matchup with Taylor.

“I think we match up pretty well size-wise with them,” Culler said. “I think they’ve had some games a little bit like ours where shooting has been a little difficult, so probably what it will boil down to is who has the better shooting night.”

Taylor, meanwhile, enters the game holding a 9–4 record, including a 1–2 mark in Crossroads League action. The Trojans last played on Dec. 1, a 57–55 victory over Spring Arbor, the first Crossroads League win for Taylor after losses to Bethel (61–57) and No. 6 Marian (73–66 in triple overtime).

The Trojans are led by Kendall Bradbury, a First Team All-American from last season. This season, Bradbury has scored 269 points, the second-highest total in the nation, and has reeled in 121 rebounds, good for fifth in the country.

“Kendall Bradbury is a target that we’re going to try to figure out how to at least slow her down,” Culler said. “I don’t know you can stop her, but (we will) try to limit her looks as much as possible.”

Becca Buchs comes in second for Taylor with 211 points, while Abby Buchs has drained 155 to round out the Trojans’ top three point producers.

The Foresters and Trojans have played just one common opponent thus far in the season, with both teams falling to Marian. Huntington fell 73–64 to the then-No. 4 Knights on Nov. 20.

“I’m anticipating a very competitive game and hopefully being back in a hopefully friendly confines of the Platt Arena we’ll be able to put the ball in the hoop well and defend well and come out with a win,” Culler said.

A victory over the Trojans would level Huntington’s Crossroads League record at 2–2 and boost the team’s overall record to 9–3. Opening tip-off for the contest is set for 7 p.m.