HUNTINGTON, Ind. — Outscored 7-0 to start the fourth quarter and eventually trailing by 12, 25th-ranked University of Saint Francis clawed back to with three points before finally yielding at 36th-ranked Huntington University 78-73 on Wednesday night.
HU took sole possession of fourth place while USF slipped into a tie with Grace College for fifth place.
USF outscored the Foresters 21-16 in the third quarter and led 58-57 after three quarters. HU, which swept the season series with USF, outscored the Lady Cougars 7-0 to start the fourth quarter and opened up a 64-58 lead with 7:41 to play. USF trimmed the deficit to four, 64-60, on a Kara Gerka bucket at 6:37 before HU unleashed an 8-0 run that pushed the Foresters advantage to 12, 72-60 with 3:29 to play.
Savannah Buck ignited the USF comeback with a 3-pointer with 3:13 to play and Lindley Kistler drew the Lady Cougars within three, 74-71, with 20 seconds to play. Time was on HU’s side and after Sydney Crowe missed a shot, USF had to foul and the Foresters hit four free throws in the time remaining. Kistler scored as time ran out leaving USF five points short of a season split with USF.
Kistler led all scorers finishing with a career-high 24 points. Gerka added 20 points and Buck finished with 18 points all on six 3-pointers, a season high for the sophomore guard.
USF led 22-17 after one quarter and HU took the lead in the second quarter and led 41-37 by halftime.
HU only managed to connect on one 3-pointer in the second half, but shot .667 overall in the final 20 minutes hitting 14-of-21 shots. USF slipped from .414 shooting in the first half to .333 in the second half hitting 11-of-33 shots. HU shot .800 from the free throw line hitting 8-of-10 in the second half. USF shot even better at the line — .846 on 11-for-13 shooting, but it wasn’t enough to get the win unfortunately for USF.