UPLAND, Ind. – It was a game of runs that eventually favored #7 Taylor University 82-71 in a Crossroads League clash against the HU men’s basketball team Tuesday night at Odle Arena. The loss drops the Foresters to 10-7 overall, 1-4 in conference play while the Trojans snap a three-game skid and improve to 13-4 overall, 4-1 in Crossroads action.
Huntington kept things close through the first ten minutes as no more than two possessions separated the two teams. Tied up 10-10 at the 13:21 mark, the Trojans pieced together the game’s first run by scoring the next nine points for a 19-10 advantage. HU answered by rattling off the next eight points to draw within a point with just over eight minutes remaining in the half.
The rest of the period remained a two-possession contest before the Trojans closed out the frame by outscoring their visitors by five to head into the locker room with a 39-32 advantage.
Unfortunately, the first eight minutes of the second half were not kind to the Foresters as they managed just six points. Scoring for Taylor, on the other hand, came easily as they put 27 points on the board to balloon their lead to 30 at 66-36.
While the Trojans’ start to the half proved devastating for Huntington, they weren’t about to settle for the blowout. Instead Coach Platt’s gritty crew came roaring back for what proved to be the largest run of the frame. They spent ten minutes fighting back to pull within seven at 76-69 with 1:20 remaining.
It was a 33-10 spurt that saw Mason Coverstone pour in ten of his 16 points while Mike Bush added nine and Tyler Arens tossed in seven. While HU’s comeback was impressive, it wasn’t heroic as time was not on their side. Forced to foul, they could only watch their deficit grow to 11 by game’s end as they sent Mason Degenkolb to the line on three different occasions where he canned all six of his freebies to make for the double digit decision.
Degenkolb finished with a career-best 33 points to top all scorers. Other double digit scorers for Taylor included Jake Heggeland with 17 and Lane Vander Hulst with 11.
Bush tallied 23 points and a game-best nine assists to pace HU. In addition to Coverstone’s 16 points, Arens added 11 to go along with three blocks. Daniel Woll corralled a game-high nine rebounds for the Foresters.
The loss is HU’s second straight but they will look to bounce back on Saturday when they host Spring Arbor University at 1:00 p.m.
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.