HUNTINGTON, Ind. - It took the HU men’s basketball team less than five minutes to establish a double digit lead on their way to a 110-56 blowout over Ohio State University Mansfield Saturday night. The win keeps the Foresters perfect on the season at 7-0.
Huntington put on a first half clinic in a packed Platt Arena to take command of the game right from the start. Shane Merryman was a human highlight reel in the first twenty minutes. He recorded a double double by intermission, scoring 22 points on 8-for-10 shooting and ripping down ten boards.
Derek Hinen also posted some impressive stats in the first half by tossing in eight points and dishing out just as many assists to help lead his team to a 60-27 lead by halftime.
HU picked up where they left off to continue pulling away from the Mavericks in the final stanza. With the game firmly in hand, the Forester starters played the first seven minutes of the period before the rest of Coach Platt’s squad monopolized the minutes the rest of the way.
The second half was Drew Benedict’s turn to wow the fans. He lit it up for 18 points to finish with a new career high of 21 points. The freshman sharp-shooter finished 5-for-7 from behind the arc to go along with six free throws in as many attempts. To date, he has knocked down 19 treys and is currently shooting 52.8 percent from 3-point range.
Two other freshman also had season bests. Kyle Pipenger registered 13 points and Brodie Crowe added 12 including a three at the 3:43 mark to put Huntington over the century mark.
Merryman finished with a game-high 29 points to top all scorers. He also enjoyed top honors in rebounds with 11. Hinen was two points away from a double double with his eight points and game-best ten assists.
OSU Mansfield landed to players in double digits. Chris Simmons and Jabree Lindsay scored 15 and ten points respectively.
The Foresters tossed in 61.5 percent of their shots to finish 40-for-65 which included going 19-for-34 from deep. OSU was half as good, connecting on 32.8 percent of their attempts (20-for-61). HU also enjoyed a 37-25 advantage on the boards.
Huntington’s most impressive stat came by way of assists where they tallied 34 to tie the school record for assists in a game.
HU has a week’s break before hitting the hardwood again. They travel to Rochester College next Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. matchup with the Warriors.