HUNTINGTON, Ind. - The Huntington men’s basketball team cruised past Lawrence Technological University 72-48 Saturday afternoon at Platt Arena to improve to 13-1 on the year while the Blue Devils drop to 3-12.
As has been the case all season, the Foresters were paced by Shane Merryman who finished with 23 points on 8-for-12 shooting. Playing just over half the game, Derek Hinen tossed in 13 points and dished out a game-high six assists while Daniel Woll added 12 points and swiped a game-best four steals. Alec Peterson topped HU with six rebounds and three blocks.
After trailing nearly three minutes throughout the first ten minutes of play, HU took a permanent lead of 13-11 on a Peterson bucket at the 11:37 mark. The lead came in the midst of an 11-0 run that turned their two-point deficit into a nine-point advantage of 20-11 with nine minutes left in the half.
The Foresters went on to balloon the lead to 17 points at 39-22 by halftime. In addition to scoring four more field goals than LTU in the period, HU’s biggest advantage came at the charity stripe where Coach Platt’s squad scored 16 points from the line to match the number of points the Blue Devils scored from the field.
The second half eventually proved to be a blowout but not before Lawrence Tech scored the period’s first six points to trim the lead to 11 at 39-28 within the first two minutes of play. The Blue Devils’ temporary glimmer of hope was quickly squelched by Columbia City rookies Woll and Hinen. After a quick score by Woll, he along with Hinen each connected on an old-fashioned three-point play to blow the game open at 47-28 by the 15:59 mark.
Less than five minutes later the Foresters bumped the lead to 21 and proceeded to maintain at least this advantage the rest of the way on their way to another lopsided victory.
Huntington held Jake Mullin, currently ranked 7th in the NAIA Division II in 3-point field goals made per game at 3.429, to a pair of threes and only eight points. Brad Watterworth was LTU’s only double digit scorer. He finished with ten points and six rebounds.
HU committed only 14 turnovers to the Blue Devils’ 26 and out-rebounded their visitors 31-29.
The Foresters will remain in the friendly confines of Platt Arena for their final nonconference contest slated for Monday at 7:00 p.m. against Ashford University (Iowa).