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Wal-Mart supports Foresters’ trip to national championship

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Huntington, Ind. "Huntington Wal-Mart manager Shelly Lehman presented the Huntington College men's basketball team with a major gift to offset the costs of the Forester's post-season play. The contribution was a part of the "Store of the Community" project, in which Wal-Mart Stores Inc. donated $3,000 to each of the 32 college and university basketball teams competing in the 9th annual NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Championship. "We are very grateful to Wal-Mart for their outstanding support of our team in this year's national tournament," said Huntington College athletic director Lori Culler.

The Huntington College Foresters made an impressive debut in their first national championship. The NAIA Div-II National Tournament was held March 8-14 in Branson, MO. The #2-seed Foresters defeated their first three opponents 99-64, 65-49, 60-47. In the quarterfinal, HC set a defensive record by holding their opponent to the lowest score in tournament history (47 points).

In the semi-final game on March 13, Huntington fell to home-town favorite, College of the Ozarks, in overtime. Throughout regulation play, Ozarks never led the game, but the home-court advantage helped them tie the score 14 seconds before the buzzer. Overtime play was a dog-fight, but Huntington continued to lead until Ozarks drained a 3-pointer with 1 second left in overtime. The final score was 83-81.

While this was a difficult defeat, the 1999-2000 Foresters can look back with pride on the greatest season in 80 years of Huntington College basketball. The team finished the season 34-5, a new school record. They clinched the Mid Central Conference title, and earned several All-Conference and All-American honors.

Huntington College is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA, Division II). The Foresters field teams in 14 sports for men and women.