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#17 Bethel too much for Huntington

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MISHAWAKA, Ind. – Playing their fourth ranked opponent this season, the Forester men’s basketball team came up on the short end of an 86-64 decision against 17th-ranked Bethel College (8-2, 1-1) Tuesday night at Gates Gymnasium.

Shooting woes proved to be HU’s demise. Coach Platt’s crew entered the contest shooting over 53 percent as a team, the second highest percentage in NAIA Division II, but on this given night they had to settle for an uncharacteristic 41.0 percent (25-for-61). It’s their lowest percentage of the season and not surprisingly, proved to be their lowest offensive output to date as they came into the night averaging 88.8 points per game.  

Things started out well for the visitors as they established and held a lead through the first four minutes before giving it up for temporarily only to reclaim it on a Tyler Arens triple at the 14:03 mark. Two freebies by Daniel Woll less than 30 seconds later gave the Foresters their largest lead of the contest at 19-14 but little did anyone suspect that it was the beginning of the end.

The Pilots made a fast and furious run to reel off 13 straight points in just over 90 seconds to steal the lead before HU knew what hit them. Down 27-19, the Foresters regained their composure to pull within two at 27-25 with just under eight minutes remaining in the half but they hit another lull that did them in. They managed just six points the rest of the period allowing a Bethel squad ranked 7th in the nation in scoring to build an advantage of 15, 46-31, by intermission.

The lead would remain in double digits the rest of the way except for a brief stint around the seven-minute mark. A pair of long balls by Mason Coverstone highlighted a 10-1 run that whittled the Pilot lead from 17 to eight over a two-minute span for a 64-56 difference. The Pilots stormed back to cushion their lead up to 17 again with 2:56 to go before enjoying their largest lead of the night, 22 points, by game’s end.

Woll poured in 17 points and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for his second double double of the year. Arens finished with 13 points while Konner Platt tossed in 12.

Trey’von Covington came off the bench for Bethel to top all scorers with 19 points. Caleb Oetjen added 18 while Gage Ott and Jordyn Coon each chipped in 13.

The Foresters drop to 6-4 overall and remain winless in league play at 0-2. Things don’t get any easier for HU as they travel to #3 Indiana Wesleyan University on Saturday for a 3:00 p.m. tip-off with the Wildcats.

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 254 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.