FORT WAYNE, Ind. – It wasn’t exactly how the No. 19 Forester men’s basketball team hoped to start second round action in the MCC as they dropped an 82-75 decision to the University of Saint Francis Saturday afternoon. With this loss, HU (13-9) drops to 5-5 in conference play and into a six-team logjam for third place.
With this win, the Cougars complete the regular season sweep over HU. USF won at HU 81-74 back on November 22.
As has been the case throughout the season, Caleb Kennedy made sure his Foresters got off to a solid start by scoring 17 of his game-high 24 points in the first twenty minutes. He did most of his damage in a seven-minute span where he scored 13 points in 19-10 run that turned HU’s three-point deficit into a 35-28 lead with just over four minutes remaining in the half.
But HU’s lead was short-lived as junior Ethan Hussey brought the home crowd to their feet when he slammed one home and then dropped in a three to even things up by the two-minute mark. Neither team could gain the advantage over the closing minutes as they played to a 39-39 deadlock at break.
After swapping several leads to start the second period, Kennedy scored on a rebound buckets to knot the score for the fifth and final time at 50-50 eight minutes into the half. It was all Saint Francis after that as Q Owens drilled back-to-back 3s to spark a 12-3 run that gave the Cougars a 62-53 lead by the midway point. USF went up by as many as 12 points and while the Foresters pulled within five on several occasions, they would get no closer as USF hit free throw down the stretch to seal the win.
In addition to Kennedy’s 24 points, Nick Teeter came off the bench to score 13 points and dish out three assists. Shane Merryman tossed in 12 points along with grabbing a team-high eight rebounds and Tyler Ault added 11 points to round out the Foresters’ double digit scoring.
Hussey finished with 18 points to pace a balanced Cougar attack. Scott Kohne and Owens each chipped in 16 points and Kevin Dawson added another 10.
The Foresters will look to snap their two-game skid Tuesday night when they host the Knights of Marian University at 7:00 p.m.