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HU outlasts Grace Bible in OT for 79-71 win

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WINONA LAKE, Ind. - Junior Tyler Arens drained two quick threes in overtime to will the Forester men’s basketball team to a 79-71 win over Grace Bible College Saturday afternoon of the Grace College Terry Polston Hoops for Hope Classic.

Arens’ back-to-back long balls came 90 seconds into the extra period to turn HU’s one-point disadvantage into a 72-67 lead. Andrew Yoder and Konner Platt each scored after that to keep a two-possession advantage that the Foresters were able to then ride out for the win as Platt’s crew iced the game at the free throw line.

Arens’ heroics along with his play throughout the weekend landed him a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

Saturday was a game of spurts with Huntington ultimately having the final say. The Tigers enjoyed the lead, by as many as seven points, through the opening nine minutes before it toggled back and forth for a few minutes with Grace Bible on top 23-22 at the 7:25 mark of the first half.

Over the next four minutes, Huntington erupted for 13 points, nine of those points coming from long range, to take the game’s first double-digit lead of 35-25 with three minutes to go in the half. The common denominator during HU’s run was its playmaker Mike Bush. The 5-7 senior scored once while assisting the other four buckets as the Foresters went on to take a 39-30 lead into the locker room.

Bush finished the frame with nine points and just as many assists to carry HU offensively through the first twenty minutes.

Huntington’s lead slowly evaporated in the second half as the Tigers knotted things up at 46-46 by the 13:32 mark and then surged ahead by one, 50-49, 90 seconds later. Yoder drilled a three, Huntington’s third of the half and ninth of the game, at the midway point of the period to give his team a brief two-point tilt before GBC reclaimed it.

Huntington would take the lead one more time in regulation as they trailed the rest of the way until Konner Platt found the bottom of the net on a long ball with 19 ticks remaining to deadlock things at 65-65 and extend the game to overtime where Arens stepped up to score seven of his team-leading 18 points for the W.

Arens was one of three Foresters to log seven rebounds with Devon Merder and Trevor Lockwood being the other two. Merder also chipped in ten points as did Bush who handed out 14 assists as well. Yoder and Konner Platt added 13 points apiece.

Thirteen of Huntington’s 30 field goals were from deep which proved to be the difference in the game as the Tigers also finished with 30 field goals but connected on just seven beyond the arc. Neither team shot the ball particularly well from the charity stripe, with both shooting under 50.0 percent, as HU managed just six points from the line, three coming at the end of OT, to GBC’s four.

Brandon Winchester-Jones topped the Tigers with 19 points and four assists. Adam Rayner tossed in 15 while Grant Garrison and Adam Kregel each added 12.

With this win, HU evens up their record at 4-4. Platt’s crew now turns their attention to league play where they open up at Goshen on Tuesday at 8:00 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.