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Clarke hands HU 87-79 loss on opening day of the Hoops for Hope Classic

Home / News / Clarke hands HU 87-79 loss on opening day of the Hoops for Hope Classic

WINONA LAKE, Ind. - After enjoying as much as an eight-point lead in the  second half, the HU men’s basketball team couldn’t hang on as Clarke University outlasted the Foresters 87-79 on Friday afternoon of the Grace College Terry Polston Hoops for Hope Classic.

Andrew Yoder gave Huntington the eight-point lead, its largest advantage of the day, when he drained his fifth triple at the 14:32 mark of the final stanza for a 55-47 advantage. Unfortunately, the Foresters got stuck on 55 for the next three minutes to which the Crusaders made them pay by reeling off 11 points to seize the lead at 58-55.

Clarke gradually pulled away after that, extending the lead to seven by the midway point and pushing it to 13, 79-66, with four minutes remaining. The Foresters made one final push behind seven points from Mike Bush to slice the lead to six at 83-77 with 45 ticks remaining but the Crusaders relied on the free throw line to keep their distance until the clock expired. 

The first half was back and forth, featuring three ties and four lead changes with HU holding the upper hand to close out period. With the score knotted at 35s with just over a minute left, Yoder dropped in a three and Trevor Lockwood converted a pair of freebies for a 40-35 HU advantage heading into intermission.

Clarke’s Ernest Bolden came out of the locker room on a mission to pour in eight of his game-high 22 points within the opening two minutes of the second frame to give his team a 43-40 lead.

But it didn’t take HU long to counter as they made good on their next three possessions - a pair of free tosses by Mason Coverstone and two long balls, first from Tyler Arens and then another by Yoder - on their way to building the aforementioned eight-point lead that the Crusaders quickly erased on their way to the eight-point W.  

After connecting on 48.5 percent of their shots through the opening 20 minutes (16-for-33), the Foresters cooled off in the second period to finish 40.9 percent for the game (27-for-66). HU committed 13 turnovers to Clarke’s 15 while the Crusaders out-battled Huntington on the glass 45-35.

Yoder finished with a team-best 20 points. Tyler Arens finished with 18 points and three blocks. Bush added 16 points and handed out eight dimes while Devon Merder logged the game’s only double double with 11 points and ten boards.

The Crusaders capitalized on 48.5 percent of their shots by going 33-for-68 from the field which included knocking down ten of their 22 three-pointers. In addition to Bolden’s 22 points, Jazz Bajwa, Tyler Meier and Haris Takes each tossed in 15 points while Pindo Drammeh threw in ten.

With this loss, Huntington drops to 3-4 on the year. They head back to Grace tomorrow to face Grace Bible College at noon.

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.