WASHINGTON, D.C. — While Goucher could not end its losing streak to two-time defending conference champions Catholic, tonight's matchup will be remembered for the incredible effort put in by Sharnell Huff (Bowie, Md./Bowie).
The senior guard poured in a career-high 36 points, the most for a Gopher since 2001, in tonight's 74-59 defeat. She now sits at 997 points for her career, and will have a chance to cross the 1,000 point barrier in Goucher's 7 p.m. home contest against Moravian this Saturday.
Huff's heroics kept Goucher in the game against the Cardinals (13-4, 6-1 Landmark), who have now won 11 of 12 and are a half-game behind Scranton for the conference lead. The Gophers (5-12, 1-6) lost their sixth game in a row.
Huff set the tone for the night early on, nailing the first of her seven 3-pointers on the game's first possession. Goucher remained neck-and-neck with Catholic for the majority of the half, with a layup from Amaka Ezeani (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) cutting the Cardinals' lead to three points at 22-19 with 7:23 to go. Catholic, though, extended its advantage in the half's final minutes, taking a 37-26 cushion into the break.
The Cardinals built their lead up to 16 points early in the second, but the Gophers would then go on a 15-6 run, capped off by an Olivia Nono (Silver Spring, Md./Montgomery Blair) layup to make it 50-43 with 14:04 remaining.
Goucher was still within single-digits after another Huff shot from long distance made the score 58-50 with 10:42 to play. Catholic followed with a 12-2 spurt to put the game out of reach.
Huff finished the game 13 of 24 from the field, including a 7 of 14 performance from behind the arc. She also had a team-high eight rebounds. Her seven 3-pointers were one short of the program record, which was set by Jessica Young on Feb. 1, 2001. Young finished with 39 points in that contest, and no other Gopher had reached the 36-point mark since then until tonight. Huff's previous career-high had been a 24-point effort against Merchant Marine on Jan. 15, 2011, during her freshman season.
Precious Kollock (Baltimore, Md./Patapsco) chipped in 10 points and a game-high six assists for Goucher. Her assist total was one short of matching the entire Catholic squad for the night. Ezeani added 10 points of her own for the Gophers.
Goucher actually outshot the Cardinals, hitting 44.7 percent of its shots compared to 41.3 percent for their opponents. Catholic, however, had a 27-11 edge in points off turnovers, taking advantage of 20 Gopher giveaways. The Cardinals also finished with a 41-30 rebounding advantage, and they have now won seven straight games over Goucher dating back to 2010.
The Gophers next look towards a rematch with Moravian this Saturday. The Greyhounds (15-3, 6-1) have won seven of their last eight, including a 71-55 home victory over Goucher back on Jan. 11.