SPRING ARBOR, Mich. - Hitting the road for their last MCC regular season contest, the Foresters ran out of steam in the second half and fell to the Cougars of Spring Arbor University 85-66 Saturday afternoon at Bill Bockwitz court.
Caleb Kennedy poured in 28 points and grabbed four rebounds. Shane Merryman and TJ Short were the only other the Foresters to reach double figures with 14 and 13 points respectively.
It was the tale of two halves for HU as they scorched the nets for 68.2% in the first half (15-for-22) but only managed eight second half field goals on 30.8% shooting in the final twenty minutes to turn a nip-and-tuck game into a lopsided affair.
While neither team owned more than a six-point advantage in the first stanza, the Forester enjoyed the lead through the first seven minutes of play before Caleb Byers caught fire by draining back-to-back-to-back shots which included two behind the arc to turn the Cougars’ three-point deficit into a five-point lead at 19-14 by the 11:35 mark.
The Foresters stayed within striking distance over the course of the half and despite their sharp-shooting, Spring Arbor was able to head into the locker room with a slim 39-36 lead.
It was a one-point contest at 45-44 after the first four minutes of the second half but things started to unravel for the Foresters shortly after. The Cougars pieced together a 14-4 run over a four-minute span to jump out to a 59-47 lead from which HU never fully recovered.
Kennedy scored nine of the Foresters’ next 11 points to pull the visitors within seven by the midway point but they would get no closer. Spring Arbor grew the lead to 13 by the five-minute mark and then held Huntington scoreless over the final four minutes to balloon their lead to 21 by the final buzzer.
Rob Hogans netted 21 points to pace the Cougars. Chris Bellamy tossed in 20 while Byers and Matt Van Pelt added 18 and 14 points respectively.
With this loss, HU (17-13, 9-9) finishes No. 5 in the conference standings and will travel to No. 4 Saint Francis Wednesday evening in first round action of the MCC tournament.