It was opening night of MCC play and the Forester men's basketball
team (8-1, 1-0) grabbed their first conference win with an 81-73 decision over Marian University (2-2, 0-1).
As has been reminiscent of this season, Kellen Zawadzki got things started for the Foresters by scoring seven of HU's first 11 points to take a 11-5 lead. The Knights closed to within one at 16-15 with 11:38 on the clock but Zawadzki was a one-man wrecking crew as he netted 12 of the Foresters' next 18 points to give HU the 36-26 lead at the 5:55 mark. The Knights caught fire by burying three long bombs on the next three possessions but the Foresters warded off a Knight run by clamping down on defense and striking with two threes of their own to take a 44-39 lead into the locker room.
Tucker Jordan's eight points to start the second half sparked a 13-4 run that quickly turned the tide as Marian grabbed a 52-47 lead at the 15:37 mark. With the Knights up 60-54 midway through the period, the Foresters strung together a 10-3 run to reclaim the lead, 64-63, with just over seven minutes remaining in the contest. It proved to be the final push as HU stayed in control, extending the lead to double digits at 77-66 behind solid free throw shooting by Tyler Shively and Caleb Kennedy who teamed up to go 8-for-8 from the line. Aaron Evans' jumper with 57 ticks left cut HU's lead to five but three more freebies from the charity stripe pushed the Foresters' lead to eight by game's end.
Zawadzki finished with a game-high 30 points, eight assists and eight boards. Shively chipped in 14 points while Shane Merryman netted 11. Tucker led three Knights in double digit scoring with 25. Evans and Matt Allee finished with 16 and 11 points respectively.
The Foresters shot 56.8 percent (25-for-44) from the field and went 24-for-29 from the charity stripe for 82.8 percent. They outrebounded the Knights 35-23.