Chicago, Ill. – Despite Caleb Kennedy’s career best 43 points, the Cougars of Saint Xavier University, ranked 23rd in NAIA Division I, snapped their five-game losing streak to the Huntington University men’s basketball team (9-4) by handing the Foresters a 106-92 double overtime loss on Saturday afternoon at the Shannon Center.
HU could do no wrong in the first 16 minutes of play as they built a commanding 22-point lead behind their leader Caleb Kennedy who single-handedly outscored the Cougars 23-22 to give the Foresters a 44-22 advantage with just over four minutes remaining in the stanza. But the tides started to turn as the Cougars pieced together a 10-2 run to close out half and pull within 46-32 by the midway buzzer.
The Foresters watched their lead continue to dwindle but clung to a lead through the first twelve minutes of the second period before Cougar point guard Roosevelt Green scored two of his team-high 26 points to knot things up at 62-62 with eight minutes remaining. Saint Xavier used this momentum to stay on top for the next seven minutes but with just over a minute in regulation, HU’s Ryan Boester connected on a long bomb to pull even with the Cougars at 74-74.
After holding Saint Xavier scoreless on their next possession, Kennedy once again came up big for HU by knocking down two freebies with 27 ticks remaining but Mark Peters’ short jumper in the lane in the closing seconds erased HU’s two-point lead to force extra periods.
The first overtime featured four lead changes and six ties as neither team could gain an advantage sending it to double overtime where the Cougars dominated play by outscoring the Foresters 20-6 to run away with the win.
Saint Xavier committed seven turnovers to the Foresters’ 16 and as a result generated 13 more shot attempts and capitalized on 56.6% of their attempts (43-for-76) while HU went 25-for-63 for 39.7% from the field.
Kennedy scored 17 of his 43 points from the charity stripe and grabbed ten boards for his fifth double double of the season. TJ Short netted 18 points and Shane Merryman finished with a game-high 15 boards, six of which were offensive.
In addition to Green’s 26 points, Anthony Grant came off the bench to score 22 points. Other double digit scorers for the Cougars included Brad Karp with 19, Ed Gilgenbach with 18 and Mark Peters with 16.
The Foresters take the hardwood again on Monday, December 19, when they host Cornerstone University for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off.