HAMMOND, Ind. - The Forester men’s basketball team sprinted out of the gates this weekend at the Purdue Calumet Classic where they opened up the season by cruising to two 20+ point wins.
Against Judson University on Friday, HU jumped out to an 18 point lead by halftime on their way to a 95-67 win over the Eagles.
After a pair of ties and just as many lead changes, a Derek Hinen free throw with 17:22 on the clock gave his team a lead that would never be relinquished. Four different Foresters scored at least eight points in the first twenty minutes to give Coach Platt’s squad a comfortable lead at break.
Ryan Boester scored all 11 of his points in the first period, which included a trio of treys, while Daniel Woll came off the bench to add ten of his 14 points before intermission.
HU’s big push started at the 8:12 mark when Woll drained one from deep to ignite a 14-1 run that extended the lead to 44-26 with just under four minutes remaining in the half. The Eagles responded with six consecutive free throws but 12 points was as close as it would get the rest of the way as HU grew the lead back to 18 by halftime before outscoring JU by ten in the final period.
Hinen, in his collegiate debut, shared game-high honors with senior Shane Merryman as they both poured in 17 points. Hinen also dished out a game-best six assists. Woll was equally impressive in his first collegiate outing as the Columbia City native ripped down a game-high nine rebounds to go along with his 14 points.
Tyler Ault was HU’s other double digit scorer with 12 points which included going 3-for-4 from behind the arc.
Andrew Eck and Turner Schwarz paced Judson offensively with 12 and ten points respectively.
The Foresters out-rebounded the Eagles 47-36 and got to the line 32 times for 25 points while Judson converted 15 of their 20 free throw attempts.
Against the host Peregrines on Saturday, the Foresters had a record-breaking day by shooting 75.0 percent from the floor (27-for-36) to not only breeze past Purdue Calumet, 92-66, but also shatter the previous school record of 67.0 percent for best field goal percentage in a game.
HU wasted little time taking control as the game featured only one tie, 5-5, at the 17:45 mark. Huntington was sizzling behind the 3-point line where they knocked down 16 treys, tallying six through the first eight minutes to take a commanding 26-12 lead.
With nine different Foresters seeing action in the first period, Huntington was able to swell the lead to as many as 26 before settling in for a 56-33 lead by halftime.
While PUC nearly doubled up the Foresters in field goals made, 15-8, in the final 20 minutes, HU found their way to the charity stripe 21 times to Calumet’s five to outscore their hosts by three and enjoy its second lopsided win in two days.
Seniors Merryman and Short teamed up to score 24 and 22 points respectively. Merryman also claimed game-high rebounding honors of eight while Short was a perfect 6-for-6 behind the arc.
HU’s only other double digit scorer was Boester with 12. Hinen handed out six assists to go along with eight points.
Offensively, Purdue Calumet was paced by Noah Allen with 18 points and Brandon Bradford with 12. Danny Paschen grabbed a team-high five boards.
Merryman was named the Classic's MVP while Short earned a spot on the All-Classic Team.
Huntington improves to 2-0 on the season and is back in action on Tuesday when they host Purdue North Central on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.