WINONA LAKE, Ind. - Behind Ryan Boester’s career best 24 points, the HU men’s basketball team snapped their three-game losing streak by knocking off No. 4 Grace College 81-77 Saturday afternoon. With this win, the Foresters move to 14-10, 6-6 in league play. HU is currently in a three-way tie with Goshen and Spring Arbor for the fifth spot in the MCC.
The Foresters stormed out of the gates by connecting on seven of their first eight shots to take a 20-11 lead at the 13-minute mark but it didn’t take the Lancers long return the favor. A put back by 7-footer Dennis Williams sparked a 10-0 Lancer run that landed them in front 21-20 by the midway point. They methodically grew the lead to as many as eight before Boester dropped in his second trey of the half and Caleb Kennedy scored down low to trim the lead to 41-36 by halftime.
Grace scored the first six points of the second half to build an 11-point lead by the 17:33 mark but Kennedy went to work down low to score the next four points to spur an 11-4 run that dwindled the lead to 51-47 with just over 14 minutes remaining. Once again a poised Lancer squad answered by getting contributions from four different players to rebuild the lead to 66-55 with 8:15 to go but it proved to be their last run of the day as the final eight minutes belonged to the Foresters.
After a quiet first half, TJ Short made his presence known by draining the long ball and knocking down two freebies within a 60-second span to give new life to the visitors. Two possessions later, Boester caught fire by draining a trio of 3s to single-handedly turned the Foresters’ four-point deficit into a five-point advantage at 71-66 with just under five minutes to go.
Nick Teeter then picked up where Boester left off by scoring HU’s final eight points, six of which came at the free throw line, to ward off the Lancers for the upset.
Teeter finished with 14 points and three assists while Kennedy added another 20. Shane Merryman chipped in ten points and pulled down a team-high seven rebounds for the double double. Bruce Grimm, Jr. topped all scorers with 33 points while Williams tossed in 14 and grabbed seven rebounds in the losing effort.
The Foresters return to the friendly confines of the Merillat Complex on Tuesday to take on Indiana Wesleyan University at 7:00 p.m.