INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It was sweet revenge for the #RV Knights of Marian
University as they evened up the season series by claiming a 64-55 win over the
#20 HU men’s basketball team Saturday afternoon at the Physical Education
Shane Merryman’s 3/4 quarter court heave at the buzzer lifted HU past the Knights
61-59 back on November 26 at Platt Arena.
With this weekend’s loss, the Foresters drop to 17-5 overall, 7-3 in league
play. With eight conference games remaining, the race to the top continues as
Huntington is currently in a tie with IWU for second, one game behind top-seeded
Saint Francis and one game ahead of Marian and Bethel.
No stranger to big upsets, Marian wasted little time setting the stage to
topple their third Top 20 team this month. Having knocked off IWU, ranked 7th
at the time, and Bethel, ranked 4th at the time, a few weeks ago, MU
raced out to a lead of 16-4 by the 11:41 mark on Saturday.
Huntington fought back admirably after the slow start. A 9-0 run cut the
deficit to just three, 16-13, three minutes later as Daniel Woll and Derek
Hinen combined to score on five consecutive HU possessions.
Plagued by a spotty offense, the Foresters managed only ten points in the final
nine minutes of the half to which the Knights took full advantage. Behind 16 points
from Aaron Evans, MU sprinted in front 34-23 by the break.
Things went from bad to worse for Huntington in the second half as both teams picked
up where they left off. For Marian, that meant they continued to score at will
while HU couldn’t seem to buy a bucket. MU pushed the lead to 52-31 by the
Down 56-37 with just under 11 minutes remaining, Huntington made one final push
to get back in the contest. Drew Benedict drained his first of two trifectas to
ignite a 17-4 run during which six different Foresters put points on the board as
the Knights watched their lead dwindle to six at 60-54 with 1:36 remaining.
Coach Platt’s club stammered after that, managing only one point the rest of
the way while their hosts connected on four of six charity tosses to ice the
The Foresters never really got on track offensively as they shot 41.7 percent
(20-for-48) from the field while Marian connected on 48.0 percent of their
attempts which included going 7-for-16 from beyond the arc.
Huntington out-rebounded the Knights 37-23 but MU enjoyed a 12-3 advantage on
points off turnovers. The Foresters committed 12 miscues to Marian’s four.
Shane Meryman topped his team with 17 points. He and Alec Peterson shared
game-high rebounding honors as they each hauled in seven boards. Woll finished with
12 points on 5-for-6 shooting to go along with two blocks.
Three Marian starters logged double digits with Evans leading the way with 23
points while Jake Stafford and Nick Achille added 13 and 12 points
HU has a two-game stretch at home this week. They host Spring Arbor on Tuesday
and Mount Vernon on Saturday.