HUNTINGTON, IND. - The HU men’s basketball team picked up its third win of the week at the expense of the visiting Cougars of Spring Arbor University 81-71 to improve to 12-6 overall, 4-2 in the MCC.
Playing in the friendly confines of the Merillat Complex, the Foresters took control early and never trailed. Caleb Kennedy got HU on track by scoring all but nine of the Foresters’ first 26 points to give the home team a 26-23 lead with 6:31 remaining in the half.
HU’s sharp-shooting guards then went to work to knock down a trio of threes to spur an 18-7 run to give the Foresters a commanding 44-30 halftime lead. HU shot 58.1% (18-for-31) for the half which included going 4-for-6 from behind the arc while limiting the Cougars to 13 field goals on 46.4% shooting.
The Foresters came out of the locker room and picked up where they left off by scoring the first eight points to blow the game open at 52-30 within the first two minutes of play. After taking its largest lead of the day at 65-41 with just over ten minutes remaining, it looked like HU would cruise to the win but the Cougars weren’t ready to call it quits. They caught fire behind the arc to drain six threes in eight possessions to mount a fast and furious comeback that shrunk the lead to 67-61 by the 5:21 mark.
Nick Teeter finally broke the Foresters’ drought by knocking down a jumper to push the lead back to eight with four minutes remaining. After trading old fashioned three-point plays, Randall Lowe drained a fade away three as the shot clocked expired with 47 ticks remaining to slam the door shut on the Cougars’ hopes of a come-from-behind victory.
Kennedy finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Foresters. Joining him in double digits was Shane Merryman with 20, Teeter with 12 and Lowe with ten. Ryan Boester dished out a game-high eight assists. Chris Bellamy poured in a game-high 27 points and grabbed a team-high six boards for the Cougars. Matt Howe added 16 points and Rob Hogans came off the bench to score 15.
The Foresters hope to build on their three-game winning streak on Tuesday when they travel to Goshen College for a 7:00 p.m. matchup.