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Trojans spoil HU’s senior night

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HUNTINGTON, Ind. – The #RV Taylor University Trojans played spoiler to Huntington’s senior night by handing the Foresters an 81-71 loss Tuesday evening. It was Daniel Woll and Austin Karazsia’s last home game of their Forester career.  

Coach Platt’s crew entered the contest with a 12-4 record when playing on their own turf but on this given night, the friendly confines of Platt Arena didn’t seem so friendly. The Foresters shot 40.6 percent from the field (26-for-64) which proved to be their lowest shooting percentage at home this year.

Konner Platt paced HU in scoring and rebounding with 14 points and eight boards. Woll collected 12 points on the night while fellow senior Karazsia added ten. Devon Merder and Mason Coverstone rounded out Huntington’s double digit scoring with 11 and ten points respectively. Mike Bush handed out a game-high ten dimes in a game where all but six of HU’s buckets were assisted.

The Foresters connected of 11 of their 13 freebies for 84.6 percent. They matched the Trojans rebound for rebound with 42 and committed nine miscues to Taylor’s season-low four.

Points were hard to come by for both teams to start the game with the hosts holding onto a slight advantage through the opening seven minutes except for three ties. Tim Fleming finally gave Taylor its first lead at the 12:31 mark on a driving layup. It spurred a 9-0 run for a 17-10 TU advantage 90 seconds later.

With just over two minutes left in the frame, the difference remained at seven, 36-29, but a Woll bucket down low cut it to five and then Platt single-handedly outscored his visitors 7-2 to force the night’s fourth tie at 38-38 with the final possession of the period favoring Taylor. Fleming made the most of it by knocking down a triple at the buzzer to send TU into the locker room with a 41-38 lead.

Woll opened up the scoring with a jumper in the lane to start the second half to trim the advantage to one but over the next ten minutes, the Foresters managed just seven points to find themselves facing a 59-47 deficit. They would slice it to two possessions on just two occasions the rest of the way with the last coming at the 1:06 mark when Bush weaved his way through the lane for a layup for a 75-69 difference.

HU had a golden opportunity to whittle the lead to a single possession after forcing a five-second call on the Trojans’ ensuing inbounds attempt but it slipped through their hands as they couldn’t get the long ball to drop. It was a free throw fest after that as TU went 6-for-8 from the line to extend the lead to ten by game’s end.

Keaton Hendricks topped the Trojans with 19 points. Jake Heggeland recorded 16 while Eric Cellier and Fleming chipped in 15 and 14 points respectively. The Trojans (19-10, 10-7) were playing without their two leading scorers in Mason Degenkolb and Evan Crowe.

The Foresters (15-14, 6-11) wrap up the regular season on Saturday with a road trip to Mount Vernon.

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.