HU wins Ness Bros./Hall of Fame Tourney
Foresters blowout IU East 102-76 in championship game
HUNTINGTON, Ind. - The HU men’s basketball teamed continued its winning ways Saturday afternoon with a 102-76 victory over IU East (2-3) to claim the 2013 Ness Bros./Hall of Fame Tournament title. The last time the Foresters won their own tournament was back in 2010 when they beat Missouri Valley College 78-59 in the championship game.
With this win, Huntington remains perfect with a 5-0 record and is doing so in convincing fashion. Through the first five games, HU has won by an average of 25 points.
The Foresters eventually took control of the first half thanks in large part to the trio of Columbia City rookies. Up by seven with six minutes gone by in the game, Drew Benedict lit up Platt Arena with three triples in just over a two minutes to fuel a 17-5 run that blew the game wide open. He along with Derek Hinen and Daniel Woll accounted for all but two of the 17 points to give their team a commanding 33-14 lead by the midway point.
Huntington would climb the lead to as many as 25 in the half before settling for a comfortable 54-34 lead by intermission.
As if shooting 59.3 percent in the first half wasn’t impressive enough, the Foresters were even more accurate in the second period as they went 17-for-18 from the field through the first 15 minutes to maintain their distance from IU East en route to another blowout. Coach Platt’s squad finished the game 37-for-54 for 68.5 percent while the Red Wolves shot 51.7 percent for the game.
Hinen did a little bit of everything for the Foresters to finish with game-highs of 26 points and seven assists to go along with three rebounds and two steals. Shane Merryman logged the team’s first double double of the year with 20 points and a game-best 11 rebounds.
TJ Short added 14 points as did Benedict, with all his coming in the first half. Woll came off the bench to tally 12 points, six assists, four blocks and four rebounds.
Vasha Davis and Cody Banet paced IU East with 16 and 15 points respectively.
Merryman was voted the tourney’s MVP while Hinen and Woll were selected to the All-Tournament team along with Adam Montsma (Judson), Perri Vaden (Great Lakes) and Tyler Fangman (IU East).
The Foresters are back in action on Tuesday when they host Trinity Christian College at 7:00 p.m.