1/3 local college basketball recap

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The two Saint Francis basketball teams highlighted a busy Saturday of local college basketball. The Cougar men beat Goshen College 71-70, while the women won 75-53.

Getting the ‘W’ was what mattered most for the University of Saint Francis especially since winning earned a three-way tie for the Crossroads League lead.

The 10th-ranked Cougars held on at Goshen College for a 71-70 Crossroads League win on Saturday afternoon. USF went scoreless the final two minutes, 36 seconds, but improved to 3-1 in CL play to tie Indiana Wesleyan University and Mount Vernon Nazarene University for the CL lead. MU stunned the NAIA No. 1 Wildcats 78-72 while MVNU walloped Spring Arbor University 80-60.

Kegan Comer hit USF’s final bucket of the game with 2:37 to play. Comer’s score gave USF (13-3, 3-1 CL) a 71-67 lead. USF survived for the win when Stefon Luckey’s 25-foot shot over 6-foot-9 Kyle Sovine was short at the buzzer.

“We played well defensively late, especially on their last shot,” USF Head Coach Chas LaCross stated. “Kyle (Sovine) had a big game offensively as well. Somehow we found a way to get the win. I’ll sure take it.”

The frustration for USF was that the Cougars led big in both halves, but LaCross said “(Goshen) just never quit.”

USF scored the first 13 points of the game and led 20-7, but the Leafs (9-7, 2-2 CL) led 29-28 at halftime. GC took a 31-28 lead very early in the second half before appeared to take control outscoring GC 29-11 for a 57-42 lead with 10:06 to play on two Austin Fox free throws. The Leafs countered with a run of their own, 21-5, and regained the lead 63-62 on a Luckey 3-pointer at 6:17.

After a tie at 65, Comer regained the lead for USF with two free throws at 3:44, 67-65. Comer made two more free throws at 3:22 for a 69-65 USF lead. Comer’s field goal at 2:37 gave the Cougars a 71-67 lead. Dominique Cartier pulled GC within two scoring at 3:10, 71-67. With 1:37 left, Cartier hit the second free throw after missing the first, the only GC miss in 21 free throw chances. In the time remaining, Evan Henry missed a 3-pointer, Seth Small got the rebound and was fouled. Small missed both free throws with 1:00 to play. USF got the ball back off a GC turnover, but Comer missed hit shot with 20 seconds to play setting up Luckey’s game-ending miss.

Sovine led USF scoring with 21 points, 13 in the second half. Comer finished with 14 points as did Bryce Lienhoop coming off the USF sidelines. Austin Fox finished with 12 points and he led USF with nine boards.

The Cougars return to Hutzell Athletic Center for 7 p.m. tip-off on Tuesday night against No. 5 Bethel College.

(Recap written by Bill Scott)

#8 Lady Cougars bag 12th win with Leafs conquest

While it’s a new year, it looked the same old University of Saint Francis in a 75-53 Crossroads League win over Goshen College on Saturday afternoon at Hutzell Athletic Center.

The NAIA eighth-ranked Lady Cougars vaulted to a 15-4 lead in the first 6:05 of the game and cruised to their 35th consecutive win at HAC. The Maple Leafs had won seven consecutive games entering the matinee contest, their longest win streak since the 2003-04 season. GC entered the game 12-3 overall, 3-0 in CL play.

Brooke Ridley and Mallory Hester made sure the Leafs success came to an end by scoring 21 and 19 points respectively. Akyah Taylor returned to the court after sitting out the Indiana Tech win, and the junior from Elkhart, Ind., scored 10 points along with Kaleigh Hensley, who came off the bench and reached double figure scoring for the second consecutive game.

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Brooke Ridley led USF scoring with 21 points against Goshen College. looked the same old University of Saint Francis in a 75-53 Crossroads League win over Goshen College on Saturday afternoon at Hutzell Athletic Center
USF (12-4, 3-1 CL) is tied for second in the league with GC and 12th-ranked Marian University, which dropped a 75-61 decision at No. 5 Indiana Wesleyan University.
Ridley’s 21 points was a season-high for the junior while Hester set a career high with her 19 points. Hester fired in three 3-pointers, also a career best.

Ridley wheeled inside and scored snapping the lone tie of the game at 19:05 for a 4-2 USF lead. She started an 11-2 USF surge to the 11-point lead that Hester finished off with her first 3-pointer at 13:55.

“I liked the way we started with energy and finishing shots,” USF Head Coach Gary Andrews said.

The Leafs climbed back within six at 15-9, but USF replied with a 9-1 outburst to take a 24-10 on a Zhanna Chukrii with 10:29 to play in the first half. The Leafs clawed back to within seven, 26-19, at 5:44. GC got no closer. Hester hit two free throws at 1:20 for a 34-24 lead and USF never let the Leafs back within single digits.

“I thought we played really good defense today,” Andrews said. “Offensively, we continue to improve. Taylor (Wilson) is really coming around at the point guard getting us into our offense. That’s a big key. The last three games, she’s play well. Getting Z (Zhanna Chukrii) back is important for our offense. Kaleigh has stepped up for us coming off the bench, and Brooke and Mallory had huge games. We’re young, we haven’t peaked yet, but we’re getting better every game.”

The Lady Cougars took their biggest lead of the game at 70-40 when Ridley hit two free throws with 8:24 to play before settling for the 22-point win.

USF resumes action at Bethel College on Wed., Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. starting a stretch of games where USF is on the road in six of the next seven games.

(Recap written by Bill Scott)

Mifsud Powers Indiana Tech past Crusaders

Strong play down the stretch from 7-foot center Laurence Mifsud, helped the Indiana Tech men’s basketball team seal a Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference victory over Madonna, 72-65, on Kline Court at the Schaefer Center on Saturday night.

The Crusaders (6-10, 2-6 WHAC) got the scoring started with a layup, but Franklin Lindsey gave the Warriors (7-10, 4-4 WHAC) their first lead of the contest with a three-pointer and other than a tie at 5-5, the Orange and Black didn’t trail the rest of the half. Madonna cut the advantage to one, 10-9, but Tech scored 10 of the next 14 points to take a 20-13 lead at the 8:37 mark. The Orange and Black maintained their lead over the next four minutes, but the Crusaders scored 10 of the final 15 points to cut the Tech lead to two, 34-32 heading to the break.

The teams traded baskets to open the second half, tying five times in the opening 10 minutes, but a Chester McFadden fast break layup put Tech ahead for good. The junior guard hit his free throw to push the lead to three with 9:30 left to play. After the Crusaders cut the lead to one, Mifsud hit a free throw and Lindsey knocked down a three-pointer to put Tech up five. Again the visitors cut the deficit to three, but Lindsey hit another trey and Mifsud followed with a layup to stretch the lead to eight. The Warriors hit their layups down the stretch to ice the 72-65 victory.

The Warriors finished the contest 16-for-41 (39%) from the field, 10-for-20 (50%) from behind the arc and 30-for-41 (73.2%) from the free throw line while the defense held Madonna to 39.7 percent (23-for-58) shooting with the Crusaders finishing 11-for-18 (61.15) from the charity stripe.

Lindsey finished with a team-high 20 points with Tanner Watkins adding 13 while Mifsud finished with six. Lindsey also had eight rebounds with Tyrese Edwards and Lavonte Davis each tallying five.

Tech will look to win three in a row for the second time this season when they return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 7 in Grand Rapids, Mich. against #12 Cornerstone at 7:30 p.m.

(Recap written by Zach Shore)

Strong start not enough for Warrior women

Playing their third ranked team in as many games, the Indiana Tech women’s basketball team got off to a fast start, but tired in the second half in a 65-84 loss to #RV Madonna on Kline Court in the Schaefer Center on Saturday afternoon.

The Crusaders (8-5, 7-1 WHAC) got the scoring started with a layup but Taylor Seiss responded with a three-pointer for the Warriors (7-10, 6-3 WHAC) to take the lead. Madonna went up one with another basket and Tech answered with a 5-0 run to push the advantage to four. A 6-2 run by the Crusaders tied the game for the first time, but Tech scored five unanswered points to take a 15-10 lead. After Madonna cut the lead to one, 15-14, the Orange and Black scored 16 of the next 20 points to push the lead to a game-high 13 points, 31-18 with seven minutes left in the half. It looked like the Warriors had built an insurmountable lead, but the Crusaders closed the half on a 21-11 run to cut the Tech advantage to just three, 42-39, at the break.

Madonna opened the second half with six straight points before Jessica Silva hit a jumper to cut the deficit to one. The Crusaders scored six consecutive points again to extend the lead to seven before Brooke Gerbers and Payton Wood hit back-to-back jumpers to cut the lead to three with 15:22 to play. Unfortunately, the visitors outscored Tech 29-11 over the next 11 minutes to take a 21-point lead, eventually winning 84-65.

The Warriors shot 41 percent (25-for-61) from the field, 25 percent (5-for-20) from behind the arc and 66.7 percent (10-for-15) from the free throw line while tallying 32 rebounds. On defense, the Crusaders shot 50 percent (33-for-66) from the floor, 28.6 percent (6-for-21) from long range and 92.3 percent (12-for-13) from the charity stripe.

Linsey Masnari led the team with 15 points with Seiss adding 14. Gerbers led the team with six rebounds while Rayana Villalpando added five for Tech.

The Warriors return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 7 when they travel to Grand Rapids, Mich. to face Cornerstone at 5:30 p.m.

(Recap written by Zach Shore)

Huntington men use late rally to turn away Taylor

A 15-point second-half lead for Taylor slipped away at Huntington on Saturday, as the Foresters outscored TU by a 42-22 margin over the final 11:45 of action to secure an 85-80 win over the Trojans.

Taylor took control of the game with a 21-5 spurt midway through the second half to build a 58-43 advantage. The stretch was fueled by a pair of Huntington technical fouls and six points each from Kyle Stidom and Tyler Waite.

Huntington (12-4, 2-2 CL) came alive over the final 11:45, with Derek Hinen taking over the game and fueling the comeback from the home squad. Hinen led the Foresters with 25 points.

After mustering only 43 points against the Taylor defense in the first 29:15 of game action, HU connected on 11-of-14 shots from the field over the final 11:45 to erupt for 42 points during the decisive stretch.

Hinen led the surge by scoring or assisting on 10-of-11 field goals during that time for Huntington, hitting five-of-six baskets for 15 points and assisting on five other buckets for the Foresters.

Hinen ended the game with 27 points and nine assists, while fellow sophomore Andrew Woll added 24 points and grabbed six rebounds. The duo combined for 18-of-32 from the field and were the only two HU players in double figures.

Stidom paced the Trojans with 20 points and six boards, while Jesse Coffey and Keaton Hendricks each scored 14 and Waite and Ian Dutcher both ended with 13.

Taylor (9-7, 0-4 CL) will return to action on Tuesday, when it travels to RV Mount Vernon Nazarene (12-4, 3-1 CL) for a 7:00 pm start.

(Recap written by Seth Mikel)

Taylor’s Osenbaugh has career day in win over No. 16 Huntington

Junior forward Jackie Osenbaugh set career-highs in both scoring and rebounding on Saturday with 19 points and 19 rebounds, and Taylor women’s basketball went on to win decisively over No. 16 Huntington 79-56.

Taylor improved to 2-0 on its home court in Crossroads League competition, and earned its first victory over a team ranked inside the NAIA Top-25 since the Trojans defeated No. 13 Bethel College on January 26, 2013.

Taylor held a huge advantage in the rebounding category for the contest, and Osenbaugh was the main factor. In the first half alone Osenbaugh had set a career high total by grabbing ten rebounds, six of which were on the offensive end. Taylor outrebounded the Foresters 49-27 in the contest, with Osenbaugh snagging as many rebounds in total as the Foresters did on the defensive glass. At the final horn, 10 of Osenbaugh’s 19 rebounds came on the offensive end to give Taylor a distinct advantage in points-in-the paint (36-20) and second chance points (12-0).

Osenbaugh’s 19 rebounds are the most for any Taylor women’s basketball player in over a decade. Taylor Athletics Hall of Fame member Natalie Steele Crane holds the single-game rebounding record for the Trojans, grabbing 25 against Franklin on December 14, 1996.

“For a three guard Jackie has great size, and today she made Huntington pay when she grabbed a rebound down there,” said head coach Kelly Packard. “Am I surprised that she had 19 points and 19 rebounds, yes. I’ve seen her rebounding in practice though, and what a game for her to surprise us.”

It was the Foresters that jumped out to a 17-11 lead in the opening ten minutes of play, but the Trojans responded with a 12-0 run to take a 23-17 lead on six points from guard Emma Brattain. The Trojans not soon after went on an 11-2 run to end the half to take a 38-28 lead, capped off by a Josie Cobb second-chance basket right before the horn.

The Taylor momentum continued in the opening minutes of the second half, as Osenbaugh scored five consecutive points to extend the Trojan lead to 43-28.

Huntington was able to trim the Taylor lead to singles digits at 46-37 at the 14:09 mark after a basket by Amelia Recker, but it would be the closest the Foresters would come to making a comeback. Taylor immediately went on another timely scoring run to push ahead 60-39, outscoring Huntington 14-2 in slightly over a five minute span, started by consecutive three-pointers by Taylor Degenkolb and Megan Richardson. Richardson, recently named the Crossroads League Player of the Week, had seven of her nine points for the game during that span, and the Trojans never looked back on their way to the convincing victory.

“It was not just a victory, today was a program victory,” said Packard. “And to do it against a ranked team by the margin that we did, you just have to say wow. We executed everything I could give them offensively, we rebounded like fools, and we played well defensively. It is a really gratifying win for our program, and we now know we can compete with some of the top teams in the Crossroads League.”

Taylor also was able to make its way to the free-throw line for 23 attempts, and the Trojans shot 91 percent by making 21.

Three Foresters were in double-figure scoring, led by 12 from guard Miranda Palmer. Kelsey Hubble had 11 points on 3-of-8 from beyond the three-point arc, and Amelia Recker totaled 10 points and four rebounds. Jaclean Bonnema added eight points to go with 10 rebounds down low.

For Taylor, Osenbaugh’s career day with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting and 19 rebounds also included three assists, a steal and a block. Cassidy Wyse recorded her third double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Cobb added 13 points, four rebounds and three assists, while Brattain had 12 points, three rebounds and two assists. Richardson provided nine points, six rebounds and two steals.

Taylor (9-7, 2-2 CL) has now won five of its last six contests and will next play on Wednesday, January 7 against Mount Vernon Nazarene inside of Odle Arena. Tip is scheduled for 7:00 pm.

(Recap written by Jon Erny)

Thunder men pull away late for win over ONU

The Thunder men won Saturday over Albion.
The Thunder men won Saturday over ONU.

Trine took over down the stretch to earn a 70-58 victory over Ohio Northern in non-conference action Saturday afternoon in Hershey Hall.

After facing a 49-45 deficit with 9:58 to play, the Thunder took control to outscore ONU 25-9 the rest of the way. Jared Holmquist (Reed City, Mich./Reed City) scored all 13 of his points in the second half, and added 10 rebounds to notch his second-consecutive double-double. All of Holmquist’s points came in the second half. Will Dixon (Indianapolis, Ind./Zionsville) poured in a game-high 22 points on an efficient 8-of-12 effort from the floor. Devon Allen scored 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting to pace the Polar Bears. Trine concludes non-conference play 7-4. Ohio Northern falls to 5-6 and has now lost six-straight.

Holmquist reached a pair of milestones in the game. The junior became the second player in the Division-III era (2004-present) to top 400 career rebounds, and moved into fourth on Trine’s all-time list with 62 career blocked shots. He finished the afternoon with a pair of blocks.

Tyler Good (Swanton, Ohio/Evergreen) added 19 points and seven rebounds for the Thunder. The senior hit 7-of-14 field goal attempts. Trine shot 48 percent overall (23-of-48), and hit 19-of-21 free throws (91 percent).

Isaiah Roux added 10 points for ONU. Lucas Pennington and Joey Hurless eached notched 9 points. The Polar Bears shot 44 percent from the field (23-of-52), and outscored Trine 32-18 in the paint. ONU was held to 11 points below their season average entering Saturday’s contest.

The Polar Bears controlled the paint in the first half, holding an 18-4 edge inside before the break. That effort, combined with a 12-4 run over the final 3:31 put ONU up 30-28 heading into the half.

The game remained tight until an 11-0 Thunder run turned a 49-45 Polar Bear lead into a Trine advantage that would not be relinquished. Holmquist scored nine of those 11 points, with a layup off a feed from Dixon making the score 56-49 with 7:05 remaining.

Ohio Northern was able to pull within five on two occasions, but Trine was able to shut the door and let the Polar Bears no closer. The Thunder forced five turnovers and held ONU to a 2-of-6 effort on field goal attempts over the final 9:58. During that time, Trine connected on 8-of-12 from the field and committed just one turnover.

Trine will open MIAA-play this Wednesday, Jan. 7 against Hope. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.

(Recap written by Matt Vader)

Depth, Defense lead Thunder women over Albion

Trine wore down Albion with superior depth and a shut-down defensive effort in a 78-58 victory over the Britons in MIAA-action Saturday afternoon in Hershey Hall.

The lady Thunder won Saturday over Albion.
The lady Thunder won Saturday over Albion.

The Thunder bench produced 37 points as 11 different players scored in the effort. A stout effort on the defensive end held Albion to 25 percent shooting (17-of-67), 15 percentage points below their season-average entering the contest. Kayla Dunn (Columbia City, Ind./Columbia City) and Alivia Recker (Arlington, Ohio/Arlington) led Trine in scoring as each player poured in 12 points. Each player also dished out two assists. The performance marked the third time Recker has reached double-digits off the bench this season. Trine improves to 8-4 overall, 3-1 in the MIAA. Albion falls to 7-5, 1-3 in conference play.

Nikky Moan (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove) rounded out double-figure scorers, notching 10 points and eight rebounds for Trine. Moan connected on 5-of-8 of her field goal attempts. The Thunder shot 47 percent (27-of-57) from the field, and hit 90 percent (18-of-20) of their free throw attempts.

Darian Payne notched a double-double for Albion, scoring 12 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Erin Nelson notched a team-high 13 points, while Catie Neary added 12 points off the bench.

The Thunder never trailed in the contest, but Albion was able to keep things close until the closing minutes of the first half. A 7-0 run over the final 1:32 turned a one-point Trine lead into a 37-29 halftime cushion. Recker knocked down a three, while Moan and Ashley Elliott (Scottsburg, Ind./Scottsburg) added buckets to account for the scoring during the run.

A 9-3 start to the second half extended the run to 16-3 and gave the Thunder a 46-32 lead with 16:10 to play. Six different players scored during that stretch. Albion was never able to close to single-digits the rest of the way. A later 12-1 run effectively put the game out of reach.

Trine returns to action this Wednesday, Jan. 7 when they host Illinois Tech at 5 p.m in Hershey Hall.

(Recap written by Matt Vader)

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