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#RV Marian outplays Huntington in final 90 seconds for 95-88 win

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Coming off an impressive 97-71 upset over #3 Saint Francis earlier in the week, it looked like the HU men’s basketball team was picking up where they left off Saturday against #RV Marian University as they enjoyed a lead through most of the contest before suffering a 95-88 loss.

It was a 40-minute scuffle that came down to the final stretch where the Knights (19-9, 9-7) made the necessary plays to collect their third straight win and slip into a tie with Bethel for the third spot in the league standings while the Foresters (11-17, 7-9) fall into a three-way tie for 6th.

With the game knotted at 88-88 with 1:38 remaining, Marian did no wrong as Reggie Kissoonlal scored on either side of a Christian Stewart long ball to account for the game’s final seven points while at the other end of the court, HU came up empty on its final three possessions.

Despite the disappointing ending, Coach Ty Platt liked what he saw this afternoon. “This was a tremendous college basketball game. Unfortunately, we got beat, but it was a war all day.

“Our guys played their tails off. Marian hit a couple of huge threes in the final few minutes to provide them with the win, but I couldn’t be prouder of how hard we played and how much we laid it on the line today.”

The Foresters have been shooting the ball extremely well and this weekend was no exception as they logged their seventh straight game of shooting at least 50.0 percent. Platt’s crew connected on 32 of their 61 attempts for 52.5 percent which included going 11-for-23 from long range.

The Knights enjoyed a two-minute lead early in the contest after which Huntington’s shooting was too much for the hosts to contain as they cashed in on nine of their 11 threes in the opening frame to climb on top by as many as 12, 40-28, before heading into the locker room with an eight-point lead of 50-42.

The Foresters added to their advantage with a 7-2 run to start the second half for the game’s largest discrepancy of 57-44 but over the next five minutes, the visitors got stuck on 57 and the result was predictable. By the 13:53 mark Marian had closed to within one but Tyler Arens finally broke Huntington’s scoring drought with two of his 12 points at the 13:01 mark to up HU’s lead back to three at 59-56.

The battle ensued as it was a two-possession game the rest of the way with Huntington finally giving up the lead with just over four minutes to go. The seven-point final score proved to be Marian’s largest advantage of the day and came with 12 ticks remaining.

It was a balanced attack for Huntington with four Foresters scoring between 5-9 points in those last 13 minutes. Twelve of HU’s final 29 points came from the charity stripe.

For the Knights, they relied on their big three in Wes Stowers, Kissoonlal and Sterling Brown as each scored in double digits. The hosts canned six of their 11 threes in the final 13 minutes with Stowers hitting half of them.

Mike Bush dropped in a team-high 22 points and handed out 15 dimes for his eighth double double of the year. Trevor Lockwood also logged a double double with 21 points and ten boards. Konner Platt added 20 points. He was a perfect 4-for-4 from beyond the arc.

Stowers, the league’s leading scorer and 11th most prolific scorer in the NAIA, lived up to his billing by pouring in 35 points in addition to posting six assists and two steals. Kissoonlal tossed in 24 points and corralled 12 rebounds. Sterling Brown and Christian Stewart added 17 and 12 points respectively.

“Marian is not an easy place to play,” said Platt. “It basically came down to the fact the Wes Stowers played really, really well and they scored on their last couple of possessions where we didn’t.

“Our team is playing very good basketball and we look forward to this HUGE week ahead.”

The Foresters face Taylor on Tuesday and wrap up the regular season by hosting Mount Vernon on Saturday.

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.