FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Not this time.
This time the University of Saint Francis won despite having an 18-point lead dissolve and become a one point deficit.
The Cougars regrouped to keep Goshen College winless in Crossroads League action with a hand-wrenching, white-knuckle 87-81 win on a wintry mid-January Saturday afternoon outside Hutzell Athletic Center.
So USF is in a three-way tie for third in the CL with Marian University and Mt. Vernon Nazarene University while the Leafs dropped to 0-8 in CL action and in 10th place, though it wasn't for a lack of trying.
Chandler White connected on a pair of free throws building USF's largest lead in the game, 18 points, 61-43 with 15:54 to play in the second half. From that point GC outscored USF 28-9 to take a 71-70 lead with 6:34 to play on a Demarkus Stuckey 3-pointer. Stuckey fueled the GC comeback starting it with a 3-pointer and scoring 17 of GC's 28-point surge.
Austin Compton's three-point play stalled the Leafs run for a 73-71 USF lead with 5:24 and after Austin Branagan tied the game at 75, Connor Lautzenheiser's two free throws at 3:47 gave USF the lead for good, 77-75. White's athltic tip in gave USF an 83-77 lead with 53 seconds to play and keep momentum in USF's favor momentarily, but Stuckey buried one more long 3-pointer trimming the USF lead to three, 83-80, with 43 seconds to play.
Fortunately for USF, that was the last Stuckey 3-pointer in a 25-point second half for the No. 2 scorer in the CL averaging 21.7 points a game.
Lautzenheiser drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key for an 86-80 lead with 17 seconds to play. GC's Alhassan Barrie missed two free throws with five seconds left and Hunter Hollowell finished the scoring when he hit the second of two free throws with four seconds to play.
While Stuckey led all scorers with 36 points, the Cougars had all five starters ready double figures led by Lautzenheiser with 21 points. Hollowell scored 16 points, White added 14, Compton 13 and Jeff Reynolds 12. White produced his first double double this season adding a USF-leading 11 rebounds.
Stuckey's point total was his season high and the fourth 30 or more points game for the junior guard. His previous high was 34 points.
USF led 48-38 at halftime after leading by as many as 16 points, 33-17, after a Hollowell 3-pointer with 7:04 to play. USF shot .633 (19-for-30) in the first half while GC shot .542 (13-for-24). GC shot .667 (8-for-12) from 3-point range, USF .400 (2-for-5).
For the game, GC shot .625 from 3-point range hitting 15-of-24 and outscored USF 45-15 from the perimeter. USF outscored GC 22-6 at the free-throw line and controlled a 30-23 advantage on the glass.
USF plays host to NAIA Top 25 No. 8 Spring Arbor University on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Yes, it is nice to have Kara Gerka back on the court for the University of Saint Francis.
The Lady Cougars' leading scorer played for the first time in the last five USF games and led USF scoring with 20 points in a 74-50 win over Goshen College on Saturday at Hutzell Athletic Center. Gerka just missed a double double finishing her first game since Dec. 19 with nine rebounds.
Lauren McBryar shook off a chilly first half scoring all 13 of her points in the second half. She was 0-for-6 shooting overall, 0-for-5 shooting from 3-point range in the frosty first half. Kinda like the wintry weather that greeted us this morning. She shrugged it off in the final 20 minutes hitting 3-of-4 from 3-point range and 4-for-5 for the half.
Sydney Crowe added eight points, Emma Applegate five helping USF take charge in the second quarter after holding a 16-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
USF outscored the Maple Leafs 16-7 in the second quarter for a 32-19 halftime lead. USF limited GC to 30 percent shooting (7 for 23) in the first half. USF didn't shoot much better at 31 percent (11 for 35), but made up for it shooting .818 from the free-throw line (9 for 11). USF shot .063 connecting on just 1-of-16 shots from 3-point range.
McBryar made two free throws to give USF its first 20-point lead of the game with 5:41 to play in the third quarter, 44-23 after she made the second charity chance. USF still led by 18, 55-47, at the end of three quarters.
A McBryar 3-pointer with 6:44 to play gave USF its largest lead of the game -- 27, with a 64-37 difference.
USF shot 70 percent hitting 7-of-10 3-point attempts in the second half.
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