MIAMI SHORES, Fla. — Before Amaka Ezeani (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) supplied Goucher with its first points in its game against Daemen this afternoon at the Cruzin' Classic by making a layup, the Gophers went 0-for-5 from the field and committed four turnovers.
Seven minutes into the contest, Goucher trailed by 10. The Gophers did manage to knock that deficit down to a single point on another layup by the junior center with 6:07 remaining in the first half. But by the break, the Wildcats had once again opened up a double-digit advantage at 34-24.
The lead fluctuated between four and 15 points throughout the second half before time expired and the Gophers were saddled with a 65-53 setback which extended their losing streak to six games.
A 15-6 run that started with a conventional three-point play by India Perkins (Brentwood, Md./Bladensburg) and included one made field goal apiece from Jaida Scarborough (Baltimore, Md./Digital Harbor), Olivia Nono (Silver Spring, Md./Montgomery Blair), Briana Bull (Baltimore, Md./Owings Mills) and Ezeani trimmed Daemen's lead to 18-17. Goucher wouldn't score again from the field, however, for nearly five minutes, which opened the door for the Wildcats (2-4) to extend their lead to 32-20. It took a buzzer-beating layup by Dominique White (Lubbock, Texas/Potomac Falls) to get it down to a 10-point game at the break.
The score didn't change for the first 3:25 of the second half, but then head coach Didi Cotton's squad scored on three consecutive possessions, getting as close as 34-30 on Nono's made jumper. Just over two minutes later, though, the two teams were against separated by more than 10 points courtesy of a 9-2 run by Daemen.
A layup by Perkins which capped a 6-0 spurt by the Gophers (3-6) made the score 45-40 with 10:34 left to play, but the Wildcats never relinquished the lead because they were 14-of-16 at the free-throw line during the second half.
Ezeani finished with a game-high 15 points, making her one of two double-digit scorers for Goucher. White furnished the Gophers with 12 points.
For Daemen, which is in the process of becoming an NCAA Division II institution, Leah McDonnell tallied 13 points, with 10 of those coming on foul shots. Raeann Stilwell added 12 points.
Goucher's next game is a non-conference encounter against Roanoke set for January 3.