HUNTINGTON, Ind. - The #20 Forester men’s basketball team got back in the win column on Saturday with an 81-63 win over Goshen College (4-13, 1-4) to improve to 15-3 overall, 5-1 in league play. With this victory, HU remains in a tie with Saint Francis for the top spot in the Crossroad League standings.
Leading the way was Shane Merryman who connected on eight of his 11 field goal attempts and ten of 12 free throws to finish with a game-high 26 points. He also collected a team-high eight rebounds.
The 6-5 senior also got plenty of support from classmate TJ Short who added 18 points and dished out five assists but the difference-maker in Saturday’s contest was Drew Benedict. The Columbia City rookie came off the bench to knock down seven treys on his way to tearing up the nets for a career-best 22 points. He also handed out six assists.
Benedict’s first 3-pointer came at the 17:26 mark when he gave his team a permanent lead. It ignited a 14-1 run as the Foresters enjoyed a 16-5 lead by the 12:50 mark. HU maintained their advantage over the next seven minutes but Goshen made a final push near the end of the half to pull within three.
Despite playing without one of its top guards in Stefon Luckey who was ejected on a pair of technical fouls within the first four minutes of play, the Maple Leafs pieced together a 12-4 run beginning at the 6:04 mark to eventually trim the lead to 36-33 with just over 90 ticks remaining.
Benedict made sure the visitors would get no closer as he cashed in on a rare four-point play. Huntington went on close out the half with a 40-34 lead.
Behind seven points behind Short, the Foresters came out of the locker room to quickly put the game out of reach by outscoring their visitors 22-5 to take a 62-39 lead by the 13:40 mark. Fifteen points was as close as Goshen would get the rest of the way as Huntington cruised to the 18-point win.
HU was 30-for-63 from the field, ten of which were from downtown, for 47.6 percent. Goshen shot a similar percentage at 46.7 percent but scored nine less field goals. HU was 11-for-13 from the charity stripe while their visitors sank 17 of their 22 free throw attempts. The Foresters owned a slight advantage on the glass of 31-28 and committed ten turnovers to the Maple Leafs’ 16.
Jerron Jamerson and Billy Geschke paced Goshen with 19 and 13 points respectively.
The Foresters hit the road on Tuesday to take on #4 Bethel at 7:00 p.m.