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Foresters pick up 5th win of the year with 83-78 decision over Rio Grande

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HUNTINGTON, Ind. – The Forester men’s basketball team collected its fifth win of the year Tuesday night by outlasting the University of Rio Grande 83-78 at Platt Arena. HU’s record now stands at 5-1 while the RedStorm drops to 1-3 on the year.

The matchup is just the second time these two teams have met during Coach Platt’s tenure with their first clash coming last year when Rio Grande got the best of HU 93-89.

Tonight’s contest belonged to Huntington as they led for all but one possession early in the first half. Daniel Woll’s first of three straight buckets gave HU their permanent lead just four minutes into the game. Three minutes later HU had stretched the lead to double digits at 18-8.

The Foresters never let their lead slip below eight points the rest of the period on the way to a 46-34 advantage by intermission. HU’s shooting was the key to their first half success. They connected on 61.3 percent of their shots (19-for-31) while limiting their visitors to just nine field goals on 42.9 percent shooting.

Huntington cooled off in the final 20 minutes and it was most obvious in the opening six minutes of the frame. HU managed just five points to which the RedStorm took full advantage to erase the deficit to just three at 51-48.

But Mike Bush and Austin Karazsia weren’t about to surrender the lead. The duo teamed up to score ten of the Foresters’ next 13 points to extend their team’s advantage to 11 at 64-53 midway through the period. It proved to be the last double digit lead of the contest as a pesky Rio Grande crew scratched and clawed their way back to within two possessions by the three minute mark.

HU didn’t budge after that as they canned seven of their eight freebies to close out the game and keep their visitors at arm’s length. The Foresters finished 18-for-20 from the charity stripe for 90.0 percent.

Tyler Arens finished with 20 points to lead a balanced Forester attack. Other double digit scorers for HU included Bush with 15, Woll with 14, Merder with ten and Konner Platt with ten. Bush also handed out 12 assists for his fourth double double of the year. 

Corey Cruise topped all scorers with 23 points. Kaileb Sheets tossed in 11 while DeVon Price and Raul Timoner each registered ten points for the RedStorm.

Huntington finished the game 29-for-56 for 51.8 percent from the floor while limiting Rio Grande to 42.9 percent (24-for-56). The RedStorm enjoyed a 32-27 tilt on the boards which included pulling down 13 offensive rebounds, all of which came in the final 20 minutes.

HU hits the road for the first time this year on Saturday to take on Ohio Christian at 3:00 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.