FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The University of Saint Francis (5-1, 1-0) extended the series streak to four with a 68-66 win over the HU men’s basketball team (3-4, 0-1) Tuesday night at Hutzell Athletic Center on opening night of Crossroads play.
The Foresters stormed out of the gates to score the game’s first nine points compliments of Carroll High School teammates, Shane Merryman, Stephen Jones and Tyler Ault. The Cougars clawed their way back to close within five at 13-8 but three different Foresters drilled a trey over a five-minute span grow the lead by 15 at 30-15 with seven and a half minutes remaining in the half.
It looked like the visitors were on their way to blowing the game open but things suddenly went south for HU as they managed only six points the rest of the period allowing Saint Francis to creep back into the contest. Scott Kohn scored eight of his game-high 29 points in the final six minutes in the half to dwindle the lead to three at 36-33 by intermission.
Huntington clung to the lead through the first 18 minutes of the final period but with 1:42 remaining, Kohne’s two freebies gave USF their first lead of the night at 63-62. TJ Short put HU back on top on the ensuing possession when he knocked down a 3-pointer but not to be outdone, Kohne scored in the paint to knot things up for the fourth time at 65-65 with 56 ticks left.
After a pair of Forester misses, Seth Small found Kevin Bloom behind the arc and with only a handful of ticks remaining for what proved to be the game-winner.
The Foresters connected on 23-of-51 of their field goal attempts for 45.1 percent and drilled 12 of their 14 tosses from the charity stripe, all of which came in the final 20 minutes. HU enjoyed a 34-28 rebounding advantage but committed 18 turnovers to USF’s 12.
Merryman led HU with 18 points. Alec Peterson and Colin Featherston each scored ten points while Short finished with a team-high eight rebounds.
Ethan Hussey joined Kohne in double digits with 13 for the Cougars. Kohne also ripped down a game-high 12 boards.
Huntington hits the hard wood again on Tuesday when they host Marian University at 7:00 p.m.