The Huntington University women's basketball team had possession at the end of a tight game with visiting and top-ranked Indiana Wesleyan University on Wednesday, Jan. 30, but couldn't put the ball in to force overtime or grab a late win, losing 56-54.
The Foresters, 14-10, 6-7 in the Crossroads League, maintained a lead on the top NAIA Division II team in the nation for the majority of the game, taking a 25-22 advantage into halftime and leading Indiana Wesleyan by as many as nine points in the second half. The Wildcats were resilient, though, chipping away at the Foresters' leads and forcing four of the game's six ties.
Huntington forced the contest's final tie with 1:20 to go in the second half on a Pazia Speed free throw that made things 54-54. Although Indiana Wesleyan responded with two clutch free throws of its own, the door was open for the Foresters on the game's final possession, but a shot by Speed and back-to-back tries by Sarah Miller-Jennings didn't fall, sealing the team's fate.
Miller-Jennings led all scorers with 19 points, going 3 for 4 from beyond the arc and 6 for 7 at the charity stripe. Amelia Recker supplied 13 for Huntington on 6 of 9 shooting and Speed netted 10. Taylor Foley headed the team's effort on the boards with 12 rebounds.
Paige Smith and Taylor Goshert paced the Wildcats with 13 points apiece. Katrina Blackmon added 10 points to the team's cause and Claire Ray and Emma Stahl each had eight.
The teams finished the game almost dead-even in field goal percentage, with Huntington at 43.5 percent on a 20 of 46 showing and Indiana Wesleyan at 43.1 percent off a 22 for 51 performance.