Playing in one of the toughest conferences in the country, the HU men's basketball
team (13-5, 2-3) suffered their second consecutive MCC loss by dropping a 80-73 decision to Bethel College (13-7, 3-3) on Saturday afternoon.
Nothing seemed to go right for the Foresters in the first three minutes of play as they missed four shots, turned the ball over just as many times and gave up seven points. They spent the next six minutes turning things around as Kellen Zawadzki's trey at the 11:01mark capped off a 16-5 run that gave the Foresters a 16-12 lead. Things would remain close throughout the rest of the half as neither team built more than a four-point cushion. HU finished the half up 31-30.
The Pilots were the aggressors to start the second stanza as they quickly turned their one-point deficit into a six-point lead within the first three minutes of play. The Foresters pieced together a 9-2 run to go up 43-42 with 13:30 on the clock but it would prove to be their final lead of the contest. Down eight with just under three minutes remaining, Shane Merryman and Zawadzki knocked down back-to-back threes to cut the lead to 69-67 but the Pilots went 11-for-12 from the charity stripe to close out the game and secure the seven-point win.
Tyler Shively led the Foresters with 19 points and seven assists. Joining him in double digits was Zawadzki with 15 and Caleb Kennedy with 12. Caleb Laidig led all scorers with 30 points. Joe Welch chipped in 15 points for the Pilots. Kyle Ritz and Landon Booker finished with 13 and 11 points respectively.
The Foresters' shooting woes was the difference in the game as they struggled from behind the arc by going 5-for-28 (17.9 percent). HU outrebounded the Pilots 35-33 and committed nine turnovers to Bethel's 15.
Huntington returns to the friendly confines of the Merillat Complex on Tuesday when they face Goshen College at 7:00 p.m.