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Lady Cougars battle for playoff spot

The MVNU women’s basketball team (11-17, 5-11) faces two pivotal games in the last week of the 2016-17 season.

The Lady Cougars sit in ninth place out of 10 teams in the Crossroads League standings. Only the top 8 teams qualify for tournament play.

To earn a seed in the playoffs, the Lady Cougars would need to win both games this week, and the seventh-place Bethel Lady Pilots would need to lose both of their games. This would put MVNU and Bethel in a tie for eighth place.

The Lady Cougars split last week’s games, defeating Goshen 63-47, then falling at Bethel 77-64.

After trailing by seven points in the Goshen game, the Lady Cougars took the lead with an 8-0 run in the last four minutes of the first quarter. The teams played close in the second quarter, but the Lady Cougars controlled the second half and ended with a 63-47 victory.

Junior Sierra Basista scored seven points in the opening minutes of the third quarter, giving the Lady Cougars a double-digit lead. Basista finished with 16 points and two steals.

“Coming out in the third quarter and hitting those baskets gave us the confidence to finish strong,” Head Coach Amanda Short said.

Senior Megan Beidelman recorded 15 points, nine rebounds, and a career-high of four blocks. Junior Natalie Carpenter tallied 14 points in the Cougars’ victory.

Short was also happy with the Cougars’ defensive effort. The ladies held Goshen to 47 points, 15 fewer than their average.

Satuday afternoon the Lady Cougars traveled to Bethel College for their 16th league game.

In the Cougars’ 77-64 loss, Beidelman recorded 22 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman Rachel Parks added 15 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Beidelman said the negative outcome was because of a “tough game defensively.”

The ladies will travel to Indiana Wesleyan for a 7 p.m. tipoff on Wednesday and host Huntington University on Saturday at 1 p.m. for senior day.

“We have to get it done on the road against Indiana Wesleyan and then come home ready for Huntington on Saturday,” Beidelman said.

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