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Arens’ 25 points paces HU over Spring Arbor 84-54

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HUNTINGTON, Ind. – The HU men’s basketball team gave Spring Arbor University a taste of their own medicine Saturday afternoon at Platt Arena with solid defense on the way to an 84-54 blowout.

SAU entered the contest holding opponents to just 66 points and 38.2 percent shooting, ranking them 4th in NAIA Division II in both categories, but on this given afternoon they were on the other side of that as HU limited their visitors to a season-low 54 points on 32.3 percent shooting (20-for-62) to make for the lopsided affair.

While Huntington’s defense was on point, so was their offense specifically from long range where they knocked down 15 of their 29 attempts for 51.7 percent. Coach Platt’s crew was red hot right out of the gate as they canned three from behind the arc within the opening two minutes to race out to an 11-4 lead.

The Cougars would battle back to within one, 13-12, by the 15:29 mark but three more HU triples over the next six minutes sparked a 16-6 run to give the hosts their first double digit lead of the day, 29-18, just under nine minutes until the halfway point.  

The Foresters cruised into intermission with a 42-33 advantage behind the sharp-shooting of Tyler Arens and Konner Platt. Arens finished a perfect 4-for-4 from deep on his way to 19 first half points while Platt went 3-for-4 from behind the arc to finish with 11 points after the opening 20 minutes.

The first 11 minutes of the second stanza was evenly played as the gap remained at nine, 57-48, but the Foresters caught fire over the next six minutes to blow the game wide open. Mike Bush capped off a 21-2 run with three straight threes to make for a 28-point difference of 78-50. Andrew Yoder made sure the gap stood as he buried two long balls in the final two minutes for the 84-54 final.

Arens topped the Foresters with 25 points and seven rebounds. Bush posted 21 points, 18 of which came in the second period, to go along with a game-high ten assists. It marks his 12th double double of the year, the second most in NAIA Division II. Platt added 13 points to round out HU’s double digit scoring.

The Cougars were led by Zach Medendorp with 13 points and Tommy Hamilton with 11. Thomas Starks added nine points and collected a game-best nine rebounds.

As a team, the Foresters finished 32-for-66 from the field for 48.5 percent, committed a season-low seven turnovers to SAU’s 11 and held a slight 40-39 advantage on the glass.

The win brings HU’s two-game skid to a halt as they improve to 11-7 overall, 2-4 in the league standings. The loss is the Cougars second in their last ten outings as they drop to 11-7 overall, 3-3 in Crossroads League action.

Next up for the Foresters is a chance to knock off #2 Saint Francis on Tuesday at 7:00 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.