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Goshen edges past HU in league opener 90-84

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GOSHEN, Ind. - The intensity ratchets up come conference time and Tuesday’s Crossroads League opener at Gunden Gymnasium was no exception as Goshen College (5-3, 1-0) battled to a 90-84 win over the Huntington men’s basketball team.

The first half especially was a knock-down, drag-out fight as evidenced by both teams getting into the double bonus and the lead changing hands ten times before the Maple Leafs took a 50-46 lead into intermission.

No more than seven points separated the two teams through the opening 20 minutes with that spread proving to be the Foresters’ largest lead of the game. Their first seven-point advantage came with just under seven minutes to go in the half when Konner Platt scored on a put back for a 27-20 advantage with the second coming 60 seconds later after the teams traded makes.

The tides turned over the next two minutes as Goshen pieced together a 10-2 run for a 32-31 lead at the 3:57 mark. Shortly after, back-to-back buckets by Tyler Arens and Devon Merder sandwiched a Goshen field goal to give the Foresters two brief one-point advantages. The Maple Leafs would go on lay claim to the lead the rest of the frame and the first five minutes of the second half but the Foresters still had plenty of fight left.

Trailing 55-50 at the 16:47 mark of the final period, HU scored on three straight possessions for a 7-0 run that put them back on top by two points with 15 minutes to go. Goshen instantly countered by rattling off the next 12 points for the game’s first double-digit difference of 67-57. It was a six-minute dry spell for the visitors but they still weren’t ready to throw in the towel.

Instead, they chipped away at the deficit, trimming it to a single possession when Merder drilled one from long range with just over four minutes remaining to pull his team within three at 77-74. Ninety seconds later, Arens converted a traditional three-point play to make it a two-point difference at 79-77.

It remained a two-point game with just over a minute to go until Devin Heath-Granger buried his only triple of the game with 54 ticks to go to put GC on top by five. So began the march to the free line after that as the Maple Leafs went a perfect 6-for-6 to seal the win.

Mason Coverstone came off the bench to top Huntington with 18 points on 8-for-12 shooting. Merder and Mike Bush each tossed in 15 points. Bush also handed out a game-best 11 dimes and swiped a game-high four steals. Arens added 11 points while corralling a game-high 13 rebounds for his fifth double double of the year. Platt rounded out HU’s double digit scoring with ten points to go along with six rebounds and four assists.

Goshen’s leading scorer, Conner Funkhouser, came off the bench as well to pour in a game-best 19 points. Christian Grider posted 18 points while Billy Geschke and Patryck Ostrowski added 13 and 11 points respectively.

With this loss, Huntington heads into Thanksgiving break 4-5 on the year, 0-1 in league play. Platt’s crew is off for a week before hosting Bethel 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 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.