Goshen, Ind. - The HU men’s basketball team remained undefeated with two wins over the weekend at the Maple City Hoopfest hosted by Goshen College on Friday and Saturday to improve to 3-0 on the year.
The Foresters needed two extra periods to get the job on Friday, earning a hard-fought 86-79 double overtime win against the University of Windsor (Ontario, Canada). It was a total team effort as five different Foresters scored in double digits.
The difference in the game came at the free throw line where HU knocked down 39-for-50 (78.0%) compared to the Lancers who only stepped up to the line half as often to finish 17-for-24 for 70.8%.
Windsors’ only lead in regulation came on their first possession but a three-pointer by Nick Teeter on the ensuing possession pushed HU on top for the rest of the stanza. Caleb Kennedy led the first half charge with 14 points to give Huntington a 35-29 advantage heading into the locker room.
The Lancers evened things up at 35-35 three minutes into the second period. The Foresters reeled off six straight points to build the lead back to 41-35 but a relentless Windsor squad stayed within striking distance over the next 12 minutes to make for a thrilling finish.
With the score knotted at 62-62 with 19 seconds remaining, Ryan Boester put the Foresters on top with an old-fashioned three-point play but Enrico Diloreto wasted no time draining a trey on the other end of the court to even things up with eight ticks remaining. The Foresters got off two shots but came up empty to force the game into extra periods.
The first overtime favored the Lancers as they owned a three-point lead with six seconds remaining but the Foresters gave them a taste of their medicine as Randall Lowe banked in a three at the buzzer from just inside half court to send the game into a second OT.
Despite losing Kennedy, Alec Peterson and Boester to fouls, the Foresters took charge of the final five minutes. Up by four with just under three minutes remaining, Teeter extended HU’s lead to eight by knocking down four consecutive free throws after Diloreto was called for back-to-back technical fouls to give HU the momentum to cruise to the 86-79 win.
Kennedy led the way for the Foresters with 16 points. Nick Teeter chipped in 15 and Ryan Boester came off the bench to add 12. Shane Merryman and TJ Shorts tossed in 11 and ten points respectively. Josh Collins paced the Lancers with 29 points. Other double digit scorers for Windsor included Lien Phillip with 19 and Diloreto with 13.
The Foresters carried their momentum into Saturday as they blew the game wide open in the opening period against Berea College and then held on for the 85-66 win.
Huntington put on a first half shooting clinic by making good on 63.3% (19-for-30) of their field goals, which included going 7-for-12 from behind the arc, to jump out to a 51-33 halftime lead. Kennedy again paced the Foresters in the first twenty minutes with 19 points while Tyler Ault came off the bench to add 11 points.
Fatigue seemed to settle in during the second period as HU was outscored by the Mountaineers 35-30 but the deficit proved to be more than enough for the Foresters to hold on for their second win in as many days.
Kennedy topped all scorers with a career-high 29 points and game-high 12 boards. Short finished with 13 points and Merryman and Boester recorded 11 points apiece. Boester also dished out a game-high nine assists while Peterson made his presence known in the paint by swatting five shots. The Mountaineers were led by Derek Davis and Harry Cross who scored 17 and 12 points respectively.
Kennedy and Merryman were named to the All-Tournament along with Windor’s Josh Collins and Goshen’s Kody Chandler (MVP), Garner Small and Matthew Glick.
The Foresters are back in action on Wednesday when they host Ohio State University Newark at 7:30 p.m. after the women’s game against Aquinas College at 5:00 p.m.