GOSHEN, Ind. - The Foresters' three-game winning streak came to halt Tuesday night at Gunden Gymnasium where the Maple Leafs of Goshen College put on a second half shooting clinic to hand the No. 22 HU men’s basketball team a 64-62 loss.
Goshen entered the contest having lost their last four games and it looked like HU was poised to take full advantage of the struggling Maple Leafs when Nick Teeter knocked down back-to-back threes to spur an 11-3 run that gave HU a 15-10 lead eight minutes into the game. The Foresters went up by as many as nine before taking a 29-22 lead into intermission behind Caleb Kennedy’s ten-point first half performance.
After shooting a dismal 24.1% in the opening period, Goshen came out of the locker room a new team by drilling three treys in the first five minutes to knot the score at 37-37. Not to be outdone, Teeter again showed his range by responding with three long bombs of his own to edge HU ahead 47-46 at the 11:41 mark.
The Foresters held onto the lead for the next eight minutes but Kody Chandler made sure it didn’t stick by canning his third three of the half to push the Maple Leafs ahead 58-57. A Shane Merryman jumper nosed HU back on top 59-58 but it proved to be the last lead the visitors would enjoy.
Down by two at 62-60, Teeter once again stepped up big for HU by knocking down a tough shot to deadlock the score with 34 ticks remaining to set up the Maple Leaf’s dramatic finish. After shaking his defender, Casey Pratt drilled a 17-footer with 4.3 second remaining for the win.
In addition to sizzling the nets for 69.2% (18-for-26) in the second half, the Maple Leafs got the job done defensively by holding HU’s big men in check. Kennedy and Merryman, who combine for an average of 35 points per outing, were limited to 12 and 11 points respectively for the game.
Teeter came off the bench to pace the Foresters with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting which included five three-pointers. Merryman grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and dished out a team-high four assists. Goshen was paced by Matthew Martin’s 16 points. Chandler finished with 15 and along with the game-winner, Pratt handed out a game-high seven assists.
The Foresters, who jumped into the top 25 of the NAIA Division II rankings earlier this week for the first time this season to claim the 22nd spot, drop to 12-7 on the year, 4-3 in the MCC. HU is back in action on Saturday when they host Taylor University at 3:00 p.m.