HU has its hands full against No.16 Pilots
Foresters play without Merryman and Short in 83-65 loss
MISHAWAKA, Ind. - Playing without their two leading scorers in Shane Merryman (21.5 ppg) and TJ Short (12.4 ppg), the HU men’s basketball team (12-9, 3-6) had their hands full against the 16th-ranked Pilots as they dropped a 83-65 decision to Bethel College (17-4, 8-1) Tuesday night at Wiekamp Arena.
Ryan Boester picked up the scoring slack by doubling his season average. He finished with 20 points which included knocking down four from deep while Colin Featherston added 13. Alec Peterson was two blocks short of a triple double. The 6-10 center tossed in 11 points, grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds and swatted eight shots.
Crossroads play continues to be unkind to Huntington as the Foresters have dropped four of their last six conference games. They remain tied for seventh in the league standings with 3 wins against 6 losses.
After finding themselves in a 12-point deficit to start the second half, HU played within six points of the Pilots in the final twenty minutes. Behind a combined 22 points from Boester and Featherston, Huntington shot 40.0 percent in the second half which included going 5-for-11 from behind the arc.
The Pilots, currently sitting atop the conference with Indiana Wesleyan, ballooned the lead to 24 on two different occasions in the final stanza with the last coming at the 7:48 mark. Down 69-45, Boester gave his team some life by scoring ten of his team’s next 18 points over a five-minute stretch to trim the lead to 14 at 77-63 but they would get no closer as Bethel closed out the final two and a half minutes on a 6-2 run to cruise to the 18-point victory.
Although HU committed only three of their 16 turnovers in the first period, they couldn’t overcome a 33.3 percent shooting performance. Bethel, meanwhile, was more efficient on the other end of the court, knocking down 14 field goals, half of which were three-pointers, at a clip of 44 percent to build a comfortable 39-27 lead by halftime.
Jordan Bowerman topped all scorers with 25 points on 10-for-13 shooting. He was joined in double digits by teammate Zach Miller who finished with 20. Brandon Gerber took the game’s top rebounding honors with 11 while Matt Schauss dished out a game-best 12 assists.
The Foresters will look to get everyone healthy by Saturday when they host Saint Francis at 3:00 p.m.