Murff Swats Way Into Top 10 In Defeat At MVNU

Cougars pull away in middle 20 minutes to start 5-of-7 road spurt

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — A nip-and-tuck first quarter was not a sign of things to come Wednesday night as the Goshen College women’s basketball team dropped a 77-51 Crossroads League decision at Mount Vernon Nazarene University.


The Cougars (13-6, 5-2), who received votes in Tuesday’s NAIA Division II coaches poll, hit on 12 of their 27 three-point tries and went a perfect 9-of-9 at the foul line in the win.


Mariah Roe paced Goshen (1-18, 0-7) with 12 points; Donnae Lipinski added 11 to come one shy of her career high.


Keyaira Murff and Sydney Stein each added five rebounds to pace the visitors; Murff added two blocks, her 27th and 28th of the season. That pulls Murff into a tie with Donna Porter for the eighth-most in a season in GC history; the 2017-18 campaign has at least 11 games left.


Sevens were lucky for the Maple Leafs in the first quarter: GC scored the game’s first seven points—four from Stein and three from Rauck—and had seven different players score in the opening 10 minutes. Mount Vernon Nazarene didn’t score until its seventh shot, a Dani Ellerbrock bucket 3:26 into the game.


The Cougars worked their way back to tie the score at 13, 15 and 18: Nora Hopkins hit the equalizing buckets in all three cases, scoring eight of her game-high 17 points in the quarter. MVNU got a three-point play from Taylor Gregory in the closing seconds to lead 21-18 after 10 minutes.


The second quarter started a little too much like the first for Goshen’s liking, because this time it was the home side making the run. Head coach Stephanie Miller called timeout 111 seconds into the quarter with MVNU up 28-21; buoyed by five 3-pointers in the quarter, the Cougars led 42-27 at halftime.


Two baskets 35 seconds apart from freshman Makayla Collier opened the fourth quarter for GC: Lipinski would add five straight Maple Leaf points of her own later in the quarter, while Roe, Taylor Roasa and Hanna Hochstetler chipped in free throws down the stretch.


Collier matched a career high with two steals: Logan Kyre also made a dent on the season-best page, nabbing four rebounds in 11 minutes off the bench.


Natalie Carpenter and Taylor Gregory each added 16 points for Mount Vernon Nazarene; Gregory also led all players with seven rebounds and four assists. The Cougars nipped Goshen by a single carom, 33-32, at the team level while assisting on 22 of their 28 baskets.


Collier and Haley Archibeque each added two steals for GC, which forced eight. Archibeque’s two assists were a team high. The Maple Leafs shot 32.3 percent (20-of-62) from the floor and connected on five of 20 long-range tries.


The Maple Leafs return home for their second-to-last home game of the month on Saturday, when they host 22nd-ranked Taylor at 1 p.m. before the men face off at 3.