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#14 Spring Arbor outlasts HU 89-81

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HUNTINGTON, Ind. - The HU men’s basketball team’s three-game win streak came to a halt Saturday afternoon at Platt Arena but not before they gave 14th-ranked Spring Arbor University (19-5, 7-5) all they could handle. No more than two possessions separated the two teams through the first 35 minutes before the Cougars jetted in front at the end for an 89-81 win.

The Foresters did a lot of things well. For the third straight game, HU shot over .500 from the field by going 31-for-59 for 52.5 percent. Platt’s crew also committed just four miscues, their fewest of the year, while forcing their visitors to cough up the ball eight times good for eight points.

Unfortunately, the Cougars did a lot of things well too. SAU won the battle of the boards 36-20 which included converting nine of their offensive rebounds into eight points. They also sizzled the nets at a clip of 56.7 percent from the floor (34-for-60) and were perfect at the line (13-for-13).

The opening twenty minutes was a see saw affair as the lead swapped back and forth ten times with the visitors taking a 40-39 lead into intermission. Zach Medendorp paced the Cougars with 13 points but it was the play of Konner Platt that really stood out. The 6-2 sophomore missed just one shot on his way to scoring 17 points which included burying all three of his triples.

Trevor Lockwood had a big half as well by tallying ten points down low as the pair accounted for all but 12 of their team’s first half points. The battle continued in the second frame with Mike Bush’s trey to start the half giving HU a 42-40 advantage. Eight minutes and six ties later, Mason Coverstone scored on back-to-back possessions for a 59-57 HU lead with 11:11 to go.

Huntington would go on to force two more stalemates over the next two-and-a-half minutes bringing the game total to 13 before Ben Geschke scored from downtown to give SAU a 64-61 lead they would hang on to the rest of the way.

After the Cougars finally extended the advantage to more than two possessions at 73-65 on a pair of freebies with just under five minutes remaining, Huntington fired right back with a 7-2 run over a two-minute span to trim the deficit to three.

It was a game where every possession mattered and much to the chagrin of the hosts, the Cougars closed out the game flawlessly by putting points on the board every trip down the floor in the final three minutes while the Foresters came up short on three of their last seven possessions to pave the way for the SAU win.

Platt enjoyed game-high scoring honors with 24 points on 9-for-12 shooting. Lockwood and Bush each tossed in 16 points while Coverstone added ten.

Tommy Hamilton netted 19 points as one of six Cougars to score at least ten points. Medendorp dropped in 17 points while other double digit scorers for SAU included Drew Zuidema with 12, Jeff Beckman with 12, Brandon Durnell with 11 and AJ Crawford with ten.  

HU (9-15, 5-7) is back in action on Tuesday to host Grace College at 7:00 p.m. The Foresters got the best of the Lancers, 92-83, in first round action of conference play back on December 5.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 38 NAIA All-America honors and 274 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.