Lori Culler’s women’s basketball team is arguably playing some of its best basketball of the season. Defeating Mt. Vernon Nazarene University 95-49 Jan. 31 in Platt Arena at its seventh annual Pink Out was even sweeter.
Amidst pink referee whistles and a crowd of fans donned in pink, the Foresters raced out to score 13 unanswered points. Junior Amelia Recker landed back-to-back baskets to kick-start the momentum with teammates junior Kelsey Hubble and senior Courtney Baker helping to feed the fire.
Recker said she is grateful for her teammates’ support from the bench and is glad to see the younger players have the opportunity to play in a game situation.
“It’s really exciting to cheer for them and see them succeed when they do the same for [the starters],” Recker said. “We can kind of give back and cheer for them, just like they sit on the bench and cheer for us.”
The Cougars were able to frustrate HU at moments as with minutes remaining Emily Yoder stole the ball from Hubble. On a fast break only Baker stood between her and the basket. Baker, the only Forester to hustle back in time, played relentless defense in order to prevent Yoder from scoring. Meanwhile, Culler was visibly displeased at the defensive blunder by the other members of the team.
Coming out of the locker room, the Cougars began to claw their way back, only to be silenced by another HU scoring streak. Regardless of their insurmountable lead, the Foresters remained aggressive on offensive. Baker slid across the floor to get the ball in a wild steal while minutes later sophomore Miranda Palmer had a steal and subsequent basket of her own.
Hubble lit up Platt Arena with 26 points, boasting a nearly perfect shooting record of 10 of 11 field goals and shooting 100% from beyond the arc. Palmer and Recker added 20 and 19 points respectively.
The university was able to raise $1,515 for the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer from proceeds from the game.
This contest was the second game in a row where all members of the Forester squad were able to get playing time on the floor.
Culler said her squad, who sit at fourth in the league at 7-5 (16-6 overall), are ready to face IWU – the queens of the conference standings.
“We gave [IWU] a good game here [earlier in the season],” Culler said. “Really, I feel we played well enough to win. We missed a couple free throws, missed a couple layups, which might have made a difference down the stretch. We’re going into that game playing probably the best basketball that we’ve been playing all season.”