UPLAND, Ind. - Saturday just wasn’t the HU men’s basketball team’s day as they suffered a disappointing 70-44 Crossroads loss to the Trojans of Taylor University at Odle Arena.
With this loss, Huntington drops to 12-8 overall, 3-5 in league play for a share of the 7th spot with Spring Arbor while Taylor (13-7, 5-3) is currently in a three-way tie for third with Grace and Saint Francis.
It was a game in which the visitors never lead as the Trojans jumped out to an 18-3 lead by the 12:13 mark and never looked back. The Foresters struggled through the first eight minutes by coughing up the ball five times and making good on only one of their six shots to put themselves behind the eight ball right away.
With just under 12 minutes remaining, Alec Peterson’s bucket down low sparked one of HU’s few runs as they trimmed the lead to seven at 20-13. It proved to be as close as Huntington would get as TU’s go-to man Casey Coons scored Taylor’s next five points to ignite the Trojans. His teammates took over after that to outscore HU 13-3 to balloon the lead to 20 by the 4:55 mark on their way to a 17-point advantage of 44-27 by halftime.
Known for their hard-nosed defense, the Trojans didn’t make things any easier for HU in the final stanza. The held their visitors to eight points through the first 13 minutes to grow the lead to 30 at 65-35. After all was said and done, the Trojans sent the Foresters home having scored a season-low 17 points in a half and 44 points for a game in the lopsided affair.
They also held Huntington to a season-low 34.0 percent (16-for-47) shooting on the day which included going 1-for-10 from deep.
Peterson paced HU with 14 points. The Trojans held the league’s top scorer in Shane Merryman to a season-low 12 points, nearly ten points below his average. Merryman finished with a game-high eight rebounds.
Taylor placed four Trojans in double digits with Coons and Ben Raichel topping all scorers with 16 points apiece. Nate Kasper and Tommy Peller each added ten in the winning effort.
Things don’t get any easier for HU as they travel to Bethel College on Tuesday to face the 21st-ranked Pilots at 7:00 p.m.