Cougars Hit From Foul Line Late, Top Maple Leafs

O’Neal’s 15 not enough in 2018 lid-lifter

GOSHEN, Ind. — Despite improving their season scoring average and lowering their defensive scoring average, the Maple Leafs of Goshen College dropped a 62-58 women’s basketball decision to Spring Arbor University at Gunden Gymnasium on Wednesday.

Carley O’Neal’s 3-pointer at the final horn gave her 15 points to lead the Maple Leafs (1-16, 0-5 Crossroads League). Mariah Roe added 10 points and Haley Archibeque pitched in a game-high five assists.

Goshen led for the game’s first five minutes before Spring Arbor (7-9, 1-4) used an 11-2 run to pull ahead. The Maple Leafs trailed 17-13 at the quarter but used an 8-0 spurt of their own to take back the lead 3:32 into the second stanza.

After the teams traded baskets for several possessions, Autumn Goggin scored the final five points of the first half to send the Cougars into the locker room up 27-24.

Goshen held its guests to 33.3 percent shooting (10-of-30) after halftime and 37 percent for the game while shooting 11-for-26 (42.3 percent) in the final 20 minutes. Hanna Hochstetler’s first points since December 2 started a 5-0 run to give the Maple Leafs a 31-30 lead with 5:43 left in the third.

Unfortunately for Goshen, the lead dissipated 24 seconds later and never returned: Spring Arbor scored 15 of the next 21 points to take a 45-37 edge with 7:11 left.

Claire Rauck countered with a 3-pointer on the next possession to pull GC within five points, but the Cougar defense held GC to two Donnae Lipinski foul shots over the next three minutes.

With the Leafs down seven in the last two minutes, the team had to foul and hope Spring Arbor missed its foul shots. Goggin did not comply, going 10-for-10 at the line in the last two minutes to finish with 23 points. As a team, SAU was 15-for-17 (88.2 percent) on free throws.

Rachel Nelson paced the Cougars with nine rebounds, finishing one board shy of a double-double with 11 points.

The Maple Leaf defense forced 20 turnovers, the team’s second-best mark against an NAIA foe this season, as Stein and Lipinski set new career highs with three steals each. Goshen also added five blocks to Spring Arbor’s three.

Goshen closes a two-game homestand on Saturday with a visit from Grace. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. as the front end of a doubleheader as the Maple Leaf men host Grace at 3.