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Platt’s buzzer-beater in OT sends Goshen home with 100-97 loss

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HUNTINGTON, Ind. - Wednesday’s Crossroads League clash was one for the books as Konner Platt drained a triple as time expired in overtime to lift the Huntington men’s basketball team past Goshen College 100-97. It marks the second time this season the Foresters have needed an extra period to claim a win as they snap an eight-game skid and improve to 7-14 overall, 3-6 in league play.

The W tonight avenges a 90-84 loss to the Maple Leafs earlier this season and is a reminder of how much teams beat up on each within the Crossroads League as HU is one of six teams separated by two or less games with second round action of league play just heating up.

Platt’s game-winner was certainly the high point of the night but the final minute of play leading up to his heroics offered plenty of excitement as well. After back-to-back jumpers by Devin Heath-Granger flipped Goshen’s one-point deficit into a three-point advantage of 97-94 with 43 ticks remaining, Mike Bush was quick to respond.

The senior floor general pulled up a few feet beyond the arc at the top of the key to bury his fifth long ball of the night for the game’s fourth tie with just over 30 seconds to go.

With three seconds separating the game clock from the shot clock, the Maple Leafs were holding for the last shot but Trevor Lockwood played spoiler when he intercepted a pass down low with six ticks remaining. It was off the races after that as Bush pushed the ball up court and found Platt in the corner for his buzzer-beating three.

 The overtime period was the only time the scoreboard favored the visitors and their lead proved steady through much of that time as Huntington’s only lead in the extra five minutes came on a pair of freebies by Bush with just over 90 seconds to go and then again when it counted the most - at the buzzer.

However, regulation was a completely different story. Devon Merder and Mason Coverstone teamed up to score Huntington’s first 11 points, nine of which came from downtown, to jet in front of Goshen 11-2. It was a sign of what was to come as HU canned 12 more threes at a clip of 62.5 percent to finish with a season-high 15 three-pointers.  

HU would go on to keep the Maple Leafs at a healthy distance the rest of the half, growing their lead to as many as 18 before heading into break with a 13-point advantage of 55-42. It was more of the same to start the second period as Huntington’s lead stretched to 23, 66-43, by the 17:17 mark.

Four minutes later, GC wasn’t able to make up much ground as 19 points still separated the two teams but then began their gradual chipping away at the lead.  It was scoring by committee for Goshen, currently ranked 27th in scoring (86 ppg), as several Maple Leafs hit big shots in the final 13 minutes with Billy Geschke putting the finishing touch on the comeback.

The 6-1 guard dropped in a three with just over two minutes to go to trim the lead to two and then scored again, this time in the paint, with eight ticks remaining to send the game to OT. Geschke, who tosses in over 20 points per outing to rank 25th in the NAIA in scoring, finished with 30 points.

Heath-Granger added 24 points and ten assists while Christian Grider and Alhassan Barrie added 17 and 11 points respectively.

Bush topped all scorers with a season-best 32 points to go along with a game-high 14 assists for his sixth double double of the year, second against Goshen. Trevor Lockwood also tallied a double double by posting 15 points and 11 rebounds in addition to swatting three shots. Coverstone registered 21 points which included going 5-for-6 from long range. Merder finished with 15 points to round out HU’s double-digit scoring.

As a team, the Foresters shot 47.8 percent from the field (32-for-67) and 80.8 percent from the line (21-for-26) on their way to hitting the century mark for the first time this season. The Maple Leafs shot similarly by going 37-for-73 from the floor (50.7 percent) and 12-for-15 from the charity stripe (80.0 percent). Huntington hit four more threes than their visitors and scored twice as many points from the free throw line.  

HU is back in action on Saturday when they travel to Mount Vernon for a 3:00 p.m. tip-off with the Cougars.

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.