Huntington, Ind. - For the second time in three outings, the No. #22-ranked Forester men's basketball team (18-6, 6-4) picked up a pivotal 68-61 MCC overtime road win, this time at the expense of Taylor University (14-10, 4-7).
Behind Shane Merryman's five points, the Foresters got off on solid footing as they knocked down five of their first nine field goals to jump out to a 12-6 lead after eight minutes of play. No one in Odle Arena would have anticipated the Foresters had already scored nearly two-thirds of their first half points as HU went 3-for-19 (15.8 percent) over the final 12 minutes to find themselves down 26-19 by intermission.
Things didn't go much better the first eleven minutes of the second half as the Trojans extended the lead to 44-31 but Caleb Kennedy's old-fashioned three-point play sparked a fast and furious comeback. Randall Lowe capped off a 15-2 run with a long bomb and two free throws to knot the score at 46-46 with just under five minutes remaining.
The Trojans' go-to man, Casey Coons, answered with a trey 15 seconds later to give Taylor the go ahead. They increased that lead to five but it was Kennedy and Lowe who came up big again with back-to-back buckets to pull within one at the 1:23 mark. Kellen Zawadzki then went 1-for-2 from the free throw line with 32 seconds left to tie the game at 55-55 and Coons' buzzer-beater was off the mark to send the game into overtime.
The Foresters found their offensive groove in the extra period scoring on their first three possessions to take a 61-58 lead. With the score tied at 61-61 at the 2:28 mark, Tyler Shively's third three of the night proved to be the back-breaker as the Foresters cruised to the seven-point overtime victory.
Kennedy led a balanced Forester attack with 18 rebounds and 11 rebounds. Also scoring in double digits was Shively with 17, Zawadzki with 11 and Shane Merryman with 10. Casey Coons poured in a game-high 23 points. Kyle Hanaway and Nate Kasper finished with 16 and 10 points respectively. Box Score