SELINSGROVE, Pa. — Goucher's struggles in the Landmark Conference continued on the road this evening, with Susquehanna pulling away in the second half for a 69-52 victory over the Gophers.
Amaka Ezeani (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) led Goucher (5-14, 1-8 Landmark) with 19 points and seven rebounds. Tonight's defeat to the Crusaders (11-8, 5-4) leaves the Gophers still searching for their first victory since a 49-45 triumph over Wesley on Jan. 2.
Ezeani started strong, hitting the game's first two baskets in the opening minute to give Goucher an early lead. Goucher remained neck-and-neck with the Crusaders through the midway portion of the first half, and an Ezeani jumper, her fifth made field goal in the first nine minutes, made it 19-17 Susquehanna with 11 minutes remaining. The sophomore center scored 14 of her 19 points before the break, and she has now finished in double figures in four of the last five games.
The Crusaders gave themselves some breathing room with an 8-0 run over the next four minutes. Goucher remained within shouting distance, however, and trailed by only six points at halftime.
Susquehanna's lead was down to four points after a Sharnell Huff (Bowie, Md./Bowie) 3-pointer cut it to 42-38 with 15:48 to play. That was the closest Goucher would get, as the Crusaders gradually extended their lead back into double digits, leading by as many as 20 points in the final minutes.
Huff, fresh off a memorable week which saw her recognized by both the conference and D3hoops.com, chipped in 12 points and six boards for the Gophers, while Taje Burston (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Central) added 10 points and five assists in 33 minutes off the bench. India Perkins (Brentwood, Md./Bladensburg) also had a solid all-around effort for Goucher, contributing five points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Both teams were near 40 percent from the field for the game, but Susquehanna took better care of the ball, finishing with only eight giveaways compared to 17 for the Gophers, and that disparity helped lead to 16 extra field goal attempts. Mariah Monahan (10 points, 14 assists) and Nikki Komara (11 points, 13 rebounds) each had double-doubles for the Crusaders.
Goucher will look to end its skid this Saturday with a 2 p.m. matchup at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. The Gophers defeated the Mariners (4-13, 0-9) by a 43-42 score back in December for their lone conference victory.