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Bush paces Foresters past #RV Mount Vernon 95-85

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HUNTINGTON, Ind. – Mike Bush was the key cog to his team’s win Saturday afternoon at Platt Arena. When he wasn’t scoring, he was making a nifty pass to one of his teammates to account for over half his team’s offense by pouring in a career-best 32 points while handing out 13 assists to guide the HU men’s basketball team to a 95-85 victory over #RV Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

The Foresters also got 19 points, six boards, three blocks and three steals from Daniel Woll. Konner Platt added 13 points and Tyler Arens chipped in 11.

As a team, HU finished 36-for-54 from the field for 66.7 percent. It proved to be their best percentage of the year behind the hot handed shooting of Bush and Woll. They combined to go 20-for-31 to make for an unstoppable pair.

The day didn’t start out in favor of the hosts as Mount Vernon spent the first ten minutes of the game building a ten-point margin of 26-16 in front a large home crowd that was relatively quiet up to that point. Woll gave his team and the crowd new life when he cashed in on a traditional three-point play at the 10:29 mark.

It sparked a 13-4 run during which Woll scored twice more to pull HU within one at 30-29 with just over five minutes remaining in the stanza. The Cougars would go on to hold a slim lead over the next four minutes before Huntington finally got over the hump, compliments of Bush, to enjoy their first lead of the day and take a three-point advantage, 44-41, into intermission.

Bush scored the last seven points of the period to finish the half with 17.

Tyler Arens scored on HU’s first possession of the second frame but the Cougars came firing back to force the game’s fourth and fifth tie shortly after on the way to reclaiming the lead, 57-54, on back-to-back buckets by Trey McBride with just under 16 minutes to go.

HU’s bigs turned things around within a matter of minutes. Arens scored in the paint, Woll added four more points from down low and then Austin Karazsia drained a three from the top of the key to put the Foresters back on top by six by the 13:40 mark.

Three minutes later, Devon Merder dropped in back-to-back triples to open up a 73-61 lead that would stand the test of time. The Foresters led by at least three possessions the rest of way and scored nine of their last 13 points from the charity stripe to preserve the win.

McBride paced the Cougars with 22 points. Brett Vipperman added 20 and Josh Ashwill tallied 17. Ashwill also registered a game-best nine rebounds and dished out a team-high six assists.

The win is Platt’s ninth career win over Mount Vernon to just two losses since the Cougars joined the conference in 2011. The loss is MVNU’s sixth of the season, the third in their last five outings as they drop to 16-6 overall, 5-5 in Crossroads League action.

The Foresters (14-8, 5-5) host #9 Bethel College 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.