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Third quarter powers Huntington past Goshen

POINTS: Junior forward Sarah Fryman buried a game-high 25 points for Huntington in the Foresters’ 67–53 win over Goshen on Wednesday night.

by Eric Andrews - eandrews@h-ponline.com

The RV Huntington University women’s basketball team pulled out a 67–53 Crossroads League victory over Goshen on Wednesday night in Platt Arena thanks to a huge third quarter for the Foresters.

The win improved Huntington’s season record to 16–10 overall, including a 9–6 record in Crossroads League games.

The game’s first quarter featured evenly played basketball at both ends of the floor, with neither team being able to open up a lead of any significance. When the first quarter finished, the visitors found themselves ahead on the scoreboard 13–12.

The second quarter nearly mirrored the first quarter, as both Huntington and Goshen scored 17 points in the frame. But, unlike the first quarter, the Foresters managed to put together a 6–0 run early in the period, the first streak of more than five points in the game.

Goshen led 30–26 late in the second quarter, but a three-pointer by junior forward Sarah Fryman with nine seconds left in the frame pulled the Foresters to within one point at 30–29 in favor of the Maple Leafs, which would be the game’s score at halftime.

However, Huntington clearly came out of the locker room with a chip on their shoulder, as the Forester offense exploded for a 22–6 output in the third quarter to take control of the game. A 7–1 run at the beginning of the quarter gave Huntington a 36–31 lead. While Goshen momentarily stopped the bleeding, the Foresters closed the period on an 11–0 run to put an exclamation point on the dominant third quarter and give Huntington a 51–36 advantage.

“This team, for whatever reason, when we play teams that we, on paper, should beat, we get tight,” said head coach Lori Culler. “We don’t finish layups and open looks. If we’d even hit half of the ones we missed, we would probably have had an eight-to-ten-point lead at halftime. Then at halftime, we calmed down and realized, ‘Okay, we’re fine.’ And then it doesn’t hurt that your leading scorer comes out and goes off in the third quarter, and that obviously gives everybody a boost of confidence, too, then, that, ‘Okay, now we’re okay.’”

The Foresters would expand their lead to as many as 21 points in the fourth quarter, largely thanks to Huntington’s bench players continuing the success on the court.

Although the Maple Leafs would cut into their deficit by outscoring Huntington 17–16 in the quarter, their effort was too little, too late, as the Foresters came away with the 67–53 victory.

“I feel like there’s been progress made over the course of the season,” Culler said. “We’ve had games where those shooting woes continue for the whole game and we don’t come out of it in the second half against teams that we should. So, it was a positive thing to see us be able to decide, ‘Okay,’ and then do something about it.”

Fryman dominated all day long for the Foresters, pouring in a game-high 25 points for Huntington. Fryman also grabbed three rebounds and one steal and dished out a game-best three assists.

Senior guard Maddie Richer added 13 points for the Foresters as well as four rebounds, two assists and one steal. Senior forward Casey Morton came off the bench to score 10 points for Huntington along with three rebounds and one assist.

Sophomore guard Jade Clement drained five points, while freshman guard Sara Doi, junior forward Cindy In’t Groen, sophomore center Alexandria Bope and freshman guard Erica Zook completed the Foresters’ bench effort with three points, three points, two points and one point, respectively.

Junior forward Erin Mohr, sophomore guard Sam Hammel and senior forward Brooke Saylor finished the Huntington starting lineup with two points, two points and one point, respectively. Also of note, Hammel tied a game-high total with two steals, while Saylor’s trio of blocks was a game high and her four rebounds tied Richer for the team lead.

Freshman forward Logan Rowles, sophomore guard Whitney Dodds and senior guard Mikala Avina also saw playing time to mark every single Forester playing in the game but did not find the scoresheet.

Mariah Roe led Goshen with 15 points, while Alyson Prigge scored 10 points. Another notable total for the Maple Leafs was Taniece Chapman’s game-high eight rebounds.

Up next for Huntington is another Crossroads League battle, this time a road matchup against No. 16 Indiana Wesleyan. The Foresters managed to pull off a 67–59 victory on Jan. 12 against the Wildcats in Platt Arena.

“They’re going to have a chip on their shoulder remembering their loss here,” Culler said. “Honestly, I feel like, in recent years, we go over there with a lot of confidence. We play well on their floor and they already feel that. So, I don’t think we’re going to roll over. I think we’re going to be competitive and we’ll see what happens.”

Opening tip-off for the duel is scheduled for 1 p.m. in Marion, Indiana.