HUNTINGTON, Ind. (Huntington Athletics) - The #RV Huntington women's basketball team stunned #4 Indiana Tech Tuesday night by handing the visiting Warriors a 79-77 loss. Playing in the friendly confines of Platt Arena, the Foresters needed an extra period to knock off their neighbor to the northeast on opening day for both teams.
It's HU's first win over a Top 5 team since 2015 when Culler's crew picked off Indiana Wesleyan twice. The Wildcats were ranked No. 5 both times with the first win a five-point decision and the second, a few weeks later, a 21-point blowout.
Tonight's battle saw the Foresters lay claim to the first half as they enjoyed a lead for all but one possession. From opening tip, it was obvious HU wasn't intimidated by the Warriors' national attention and the first half box proved that. Huntington turned the ball over just twice in the first 20 minutes while tracking down 12 of their own shots to the tune of 11 second chance points.
Six different Foresters put points on the board in the opening quarter to stake a 22-18 advantage by the first break. HU scored six straight points to start the second quarter which included Dazia Drake capping off the run with her first collegiate bucket, a put back at the 8:06 mark, to give her team the game's only double-digit lead of the night at 28-18.
The Warriors would go on to cut their hosts' advantage in half by intermission for a 36-31 difference. Tech carried that momentum into the third stanza to eventually climb on top, 41-40, by the halfway point of the quarter. It was their first lead since the opening :45 seconds but the Foresters weren't having it.
Down 44-43 with just over three minutes left in the third, Sarah Fryman got her team back on track with a pair of freebies after which Sara Doi, who had just entered the contest, sparked her team by burying a three and then making a nifty shovel pass to Fryman for a baseline jumper to put HU up by six at 50-44.
The Foresters settled for a three-point cushion, 51-48, heading into fourth. The two teams traded blows over the final ten minutes of regulation as evidenced by six ties and multiple lead swaps. Things looked a little bleak for Huntington as Tech enjoyed their largest lead of the night, a 64-61 tilt, with 1:23 remaining. A quick timeout gave Culler a chance to organize her crew and they didn't disappoint as Sam Hammel drove the lane to trim the lead to a single point after which Fryman capitalized on an and one with 39 ticks remaining for a 66-64 advantage.
But Tech wasn't ready to throw in the towel just yet as Emma Wolfe hit a pair of clutch free throws with :22 remaining to knot things up at 66-66. HU's look at the buzzer rolled off the rim to send the contest to overtime where Huntington took care of business. The Foresters opened up a 75-68 lead just over two minutes into the OT with Erin Mohr, Doi and Fryman each dropping in points.
The Warriors would get three points back over the next 60 seconds but their biggest break of the night came when Fryman was whistled for her fifth foul with just over two minutes remaining. While it would have been easy to lose heart, the gritty Foresters remained poised. Huntington did not score a field goal in the final three minutes but still managed to get the job down at the charity stripe to eke out upset.
Fryman topped all scorers with 24 points. The 5-9 senior also handed out three assists and swiped three steals. Sam Hammel did a little bit of everything to finish with 12 points and 12 rebounds for her team's only double double in addition to boasting game-high honors in assists with six and steals with four.
Mohr recorded ten points and three assists, while Doi posted those same numbers coming off the bench. Alexandria Bope added eight points and pulled down seven rebounds, four of which were of the offensive variety.
Alexa Hill paced the Warriors with 22 points. Other double-digit scorers for Tech included DeAnn Kauffman (20), Wolfe (12) and Rachel Bell (10).
HU (1-0) is back in action Saturday to host Cornerstone at 12:00 p.m.