HUNTINGTON, Ind. - The Forester men’s basketball team saw their six-game win streak snapped Wednesday evening by 3rd-ranked Indiana Wesleyan University. The Wildcats (15-1, 4-0) rallied in the final 13 minutes to outscore HU by 15 and escape Platt Arena with an 86-76 Crossroads win.
With this loss, HU drops to 10-6 overall, 1-3 in Crossroads play.
After shooting an identical 51.7 percent through the first twenty minutes, the Foresters couldn’t match the Wildcats’ numbers in the second half. IWU converted a higher percentage of their freebies and recorded five more field goals to pull away for the win. Wesleyan shot 54.4 percent for the game while limiting the nation’s top shooting team to 49.1 percent.
The Wildcats also enjoyed a 29-27 rebounding advantage and committed 13 turnovers to HU’s 18 miscues.
Behind seven points from go-to man Shane Merryman and a pair of treys from Ryan Boester, Huntington jumped out to an early 18-10 lead after seven minutes of play. IWU came to life over the next four minutes to outscore the Foresters 12-2 and seize the lead at 22-20.
Wesleyan enjoyed the lead until the 5:27 mark when Boester connected on his third long ball of the half to re-establish an HU advantage of 32-30. He and Merryman each finished the half with 13 to give Huntington a 43-39 lead at intermission.
TJ Short opened the second half with the Foresters’ seventh three of the contest to extend the lead to seven at 46-39. Things continued to go HU’s way over the next seven minutes as they held on to a 57-52 lead but the momentum quickly shifted when Jordan Weidner went deep on back-to-back possessions to give the visitors a 60-59 advantage.
Weidner then teamed up with Patrick Hopkins to account for 18 of IWU’s final 28 points to grow the lead to ten as the Foresters helplessly watched the game slip away.
Merryman finished with 22 points. Boester dished out a career-tying nine assists to go along with 16 points while Short and Alec Peterson chipped in 14 and 13 points respectively.
Weidner netted a game-high 28 points, Hopkins tossed in 24 and George Jones IV came off the bench to add 10. Hopkins ripped down a game-best 14 rebounds for the double double.
The Foresters return to Platt Arena on Saturday when they host Mount Vernon Nazarene University at 3:00 p.m.