Forester women, Speed spoil Grace senior day

The Huntington University women's basketball team played spoiler to senior day at Grace College on Saturday, Feb. 15, handing the Lancers a 57-39 loss to wrap up the season sweep.

The Foresters' Pazia Speed celebrated her own senior day, scoring a game-high 22 points for HU, 21-6 overall and 13-3 in Crossroads League play.

Defense was the name of the game for Huntington as Coach Lori Culler's squad held Grace to just 26 percent from the field on 14 of 55 shooting, its worst performance of the season, which included going 5 for 27 in the final 20 minutes. It marks the second straight contest in which Huntington has held its opponent to under 40 points.

The key was limiting Grace's duo of Juaneice Jackson and Allison Kauffman, who together average nearly 35 points per outing, to just 10 points apiece. The Foresters' crippling defense severely limited the twosome as they finished 7 for 22 from the floor.

The day started off evenly as fans witnessed four ties in the first six minutes until Kelsey Hubble drilled the first of two triples to give her team what proved to be a permanent lead at the 13:45 mark.

It sparked a 10-0 run that Miranda Palmer capped off with five quick points within 90 seconds of entering the ballgame to push the lead to eight at 19-11 with 11:14 on the clock. The Foresters continued to pull away as Hubble's second trey with just over two minutes remaining in the frame gave Huntington its largest lead of the contest at 33-19 before a pair of freebies by Gabby Bryant sent the Foresters into break with a 33-21 lead.

Huntington missed its first seven shots of the final period to give the hosts an opportunity to cut into the lead, was as close as they would get before Speed rallied her troops by scoring the game's next 12 points to balloon the lead to 46-27 by the 11:15 mark.

The Foresters cruised to the win after that as a deflated Grace squad, 14-14, 10-6, managed only two field goals the rest of the way.

Speed added to her day's work with four rebounds, two assists and two steals to pace Huntington. Hubble added 14 points as the Foresters' only other double digit scorer while Courtney Baker topped all rebounders with 10 to go along with eight points and a team-high three steals. Palmer also tallied eight points and dished out three assists to share game-high assists honors with Amelia Recker and Jackson.

Huntington finished 22 for 56 from the field for 39.3 percent and scored 21 points off 20 Lancer miscues. The Foresters' only hiccup came at the line where they shot 42.9 percent, 6 for 14, a far cry from their No. 1 free throw shooting ranking in NAIA Division II of 79.1 percent.