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HU rolls past Grace 99-70 for first league win

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HUNTINGTON, Ind. – The Forester men’s basketball picked up their first league win Tuesday night at Platt Arena with a convincing 99-70 decision over Grace College (8-5, 0-4). The win snaps a four-game skid and also marks HU’s second straight win over the Lancers as they improve to 7-5 overall, 1-3 in Crossroads League play.

The 29-point spread is the largest margin of victory over Grace during Coach Platt’s tenure.

From opening tip to final buzzer, the Foresters were on point. It took just over six minutes for HU to establish their first double digit lead when Mike Bush knocked down a jumper at the 13:47 mark for a 16-6 advantage. Ninety seconds later, Austin Karazsia canned his first of three triples to give his team a permanent double digit lead that the Lancers never challenged.   

Bush led the Huntington charge by picking apart Grace’s defense. The 5-7 floor general was an unblemished 9-for-9 from the field including two from deep to finish with a game-high 20 points. When he wasn’t scoring, he was finding his open teammates. He finished with a career-best 15 assists without turning the ball over during his 36 minutes of play.

The Foresters were clicking on all cylinders to record a season-best 41 field goals on 66 attempts for a sizzling 62.1 percent which included finishing 13-for-19 behind the arc for an unheard of 68.4 percent.

Just like Bush, Devon Merder was perfect on the night. He came off the bench to go 6-for-6 from the field which included three long balls and 2-for-2 from the charity stripe to tally a season-tying 17 points.

Four other Foresters posted double digits. Tyler Arens and Daniel Woll each tossed in 14 points, Karazsia registered 13 and Konner Platt added 12. Woll also pulled down a game-high ten boards to go along with four steals and three blocks.  

Huntington took a 51-34 lead into intermission and didn’t miss a beat coming out of the locker room to balloon the lead to 27, 66-39, by the 14:37 mark of the second half after back-to-back triples from Merder. Platt’s crew would go on to extend the lead to as many as 32 before settling for the 29 point difference by game’s end.   

Grace didn’t have an answer for Bush and crew and it carried over to the other end of the floor where they managed just 24 field goals on 42.1 percent shooting. They committed 14 miscues to HU’s eight and were outrebounded 31-27.

Tre Olive came off the bench to pace the Lancers with 14 points. Logan Godfrey finished with 13 while Erik Bowen and Chad Hoffer each tossed in 12.

Next up for the Foresters is another matchup with Asbury University on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. HU will look to avenge a 104-94 loss to the Eagles back on November 26.  

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.