Putting on a defensive clinic against Davenport (Mich.) University in the NAIA Division II National Championship game, Indiana Wesleyan claimed its second NAIA title with a 61-43 victory Tuesday night.
Holding Davenport to 33 percent shooting in the game, including just three makes in 17 three-point tries, Wesleyan kept Davenport almost 40 points under its season scoring average and ending the Panthers’ 11-game winning streak.
Wawasee graduate Taylor Goshert did not shy away from the spotlight on the biggest stage. The junior guard hit 7-12 field goals and scored a game-high 15 points while adding five rebounds and three assists. Goshert also earned a gold star during a pivotal moment in the second half for something that won’t make the stat sheet.
Goshert was on the other end of a technical foul call on Tiesha Stokes, which had Claire Ray take two extra free throws on top of the shooting foul Ray already drew the play before. The four makes by Ray gave Wesleyan a 54-37 lead, to which Davenport could never recover.
Paige Smith added 14 points for Wesleyan (35-3), which adds the national championship trophy to the first it won in 2007.
Stokes finished with 12 points and four rebounds for Davenport, which concludes its season at 34-3. Davenport have never won an NAIA title.
Wesleyan reached the championship game by escaping the top team in the nation, Morningside (Ia.) 65-64 Monday night. Smith led all scorers with 24 points and eight rebounds and Goshert chipped in 13 points and five boards. Davenport beat Northwestern (Ia.) 74-68 in Monday’s other national semi-final.
Goshert was named to the All-Tournament Team along with Smith, who was named the tournament MVP. Karlee Harris of Davenport, along with Ashlynn Muhl of Morningside and Kendra De Jong of Northwestern, round out the All-Tournament first team.