Red Raiders shoot down HU women in NAIA second round

The Huntington University women's basketball team got outshot by Northwestern and lost 92-68 in the second round of the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball Championship tournament at Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, IA, on Friday, March 14.

The Red Raiders, top-seeded in their half of the bracket, clicked on 37 of 70 shots for 52.9 percent while the Foresters shot 10 points lower at 42.9 percent on a 24 of 56 effort.

Although Coach Lori Culler's squad took a 5-0 lead on Northwestern a minute into the game, it would prove to be their only advantage of the contest as the Red Raiders snatched the lead away and built a hard-fought 10-point cushion by halftime of 38-28.

Senior Pazia Speed and sophomore Kelsey Hubble scored nine points apiece in the opening stanza to keep Huntington in it, trimming Northwestern's lead down to one point on two occasions.

Following a free throw by sophomore Amelia Recker two and a half minutes into the final frame, the Foresters trailed by only eight, 42-34, but the Red Raiders, who shot a sizzling 63.6 percent in the half on a 21 of 33 effort, responded with a 14-4 run to go up 56-38 by the 12:30 mark and lead by double digits for the rest of the game.

Freshman Miranda Palmer came off the bench to lead Huntington, 24-9, with 17 points, knocking down a game-best four three-pointers. Recker and Speed finished with 15 and 11 points, respectively, and shot a combined 9 for 10 at the charity stripe, where the team hit 12 of 17 overall for 70.6 percent.

Northwestern's Alli Engebretson sank 9 of 11 from the field for 20 points, pairing that with eight rebounds to record two game-highs. Karen Hutson supplied 19 points, Samantha Kleinsasser netted 16 and Whitney Vander Maten added 12. At the line, Northwestern connected on 12 of 16 for 75 percent.

The Red Raiders, 29-4, doubled the Foresters' point production in the paint, 48-24, while tossing in 16 second-chance points to just four for Huntington, courtesy of their 44-27 rebounding advantage that included 16 offensive boards.

Northwestern also topped the assists stats, 25-17, getting eight from Hutson while Speed doled out six for Huntington.