HUNTINGTON, Ind. - The Forester men’s basketball team continues to struggle in Crossroads play as they dropped a 61-50 decisions to the University of Saint Francis Cougars Saturday afternoon at Platt Arena.
It marks HU’s fifth conference loss in seven outings as they drop to 3-7 in league play, 12-10 overall. For the Cougars, they improve to 13-8, 5-4 in the CL.
Known for their shooting accuracy, the Foresters entered the contest ranked third in NAIA Division II for field goal percentage at 50.0 percent. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case over the weekend as shooting proved to be the Foresters’ biggest liability.
Platt’s squad knocked down only 18 of their 50 field goal attempts for 36.0 percent to score 50 points, their third lowest offensive output of the season. The Cougars logged seven more field goals, shooting 45.5 percent on the day.
HU stormed out of the gates behind a pair of treys from Ryan Boester to take an 8-4 lead with just under two minutes gone by but their offense completely stalled for the next seven minutes to which the Cougars took full advantage. USF rattled off 14 consecutive points to take an 18-8 lead by the 11:10 mark.
The Foresters regained their composure to score the game’s next seven points to shave the lead down to three at 18-15. It was an evenly played contest the rest of the half as the period came and went with the Cougars hanging on to a 29-25 lead.
The first five minutes of the final stanza proved to be the critical factor in the game’s outcome as the Cougars outscored HU 15-4 to take the largest lead of the contest at 44-29 by the 14:50 mark. While Huntington would trim it to single digits on five different occasions, USF’s defense always answered.
HU’s last push came with just under three minutes remaining when TJ Short buried his third three of the day to close the gap to 55-48 but the Cougars’ defense came up big once again. On HU’s next possession, Brad Sneary swiped a steal which resulted in two more points for the visitors. It was the final dagger as HU managed only two points the rest of the way in their 11-point defeat.
Boester poured in a team-high 19 points. Short and Shane Merryman were HU’s only other double digit scorers with 13 and 11 points respectively. Alec Peterson grabbed four offensive rebounds on his way to a team-best seven rebounds.
Scott Kohne dominated the boards, ripping down a career-best 19 rebounds to go along with a game-high 21 points. It marked his 12th double double of the season. Josh Hogan added 17 points in the Cougars’ win.
The Foresters are back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Indianapolis to take on Marian University at 7:00 p.m.