MISHAWAKA, Ind. - For the second time this season, the HU men’s basketball team fell victim to the youthful Pilots of Bethel College. This time around it was by an 89-80 margin at Wiekamp Arena. With this loss, HU (15-12, 7-8) drops into a tie for sixth in MCC play with Bethel.
Despite the post play of Caleb Kennedy and Shane Merryman who combined for 49 of HU’s 80 points, the visitors didn’t have an answer for Bethel’s freshman back court of Zach Miller and Matt Schauss who tore up the nets for 21 and 20 points respectively to lead five Pilots in double figures.
After missing his first two shots, Kennedy finished the half a perfect 8-for-8 from the field and 5-for-5 from the charity stripe to score 21 of his game-high 32 points and nearly single-handedly keeping the Foresters within striking distance through the first period.
With the score knotted at 11-11 at the 12:09 mark, the Pilots spent the next five and a half minutes methodically pulling away to take their largest lead of the half at 32-19. The Foresters returned the favor by just as carefully chipping away at the lead over the final six and a half minutes to close within 41-37 by intermission.
The Pilots opened up the second stanza with back-to-back buckets to jump ahead by eight but the Foresters answered by way of the arc. Nick Teeter drilled his first three of the night to pull HU within three at the 17:26 mark and then a handful of possessions later Ryan Boester knocked down the long bomb to trim the lead to 49-47 but Bethel withstood the charge with an 8-2 spurt to take an eight point lead at 57-49 with just under 13 minutes remaining.
The Foresters pulled within four 90 seconds later but would get no closer as the Pilots relied on a balanced attack to carry them home.
Kennedy grabbed a game-high nine rebounds to go along with his 32 points. Merryman was the only other Forester to reach double digits with 17 points. In addition to Schauss and Miller’s 41 points, Landon Booker dropped in 11 points and Darrell Hopkins and Michael Mislan each tossed in ten.
The Foresters hit the road again on Saturday when they travel to Taylor to face the Trojans at 3:00 p.m.