No. 7 IWU sits atop the league with 82-71 win over No. 14 HU

FOR RELEASE
2014-02-04
MARION, Ind. – While all of the other Crossroads games were postponed Tuesday night, the No. 14 Forester men’s basketball team didn’t let the snow and cold stop them from making the trip to Luckey Arena to take on the No. 7 Indiana Wesleyan University. It was a battle for the top spot in the league and for the second time this season, the Wildcats came out on top, 82-71, to claim sole possession of first for the time being.

Both teams now share an identical overall record of 20-5 but Huntington drops to 9-4 in league play while IWU improves to 10-3.

The numbers tell the story. The Foresters entered the contest shooting nearly 51 percent from the field but tonight Coach Platt’s squad struggled to put the ball in the hole, especially compared to their hosts. HU shot an uncharacteristic 41.9 percent (26-for-62) for the game while the Wildcats sizzled the nets for 56.8 percent (25-for-44).

Even more glaring was what happened with the clock stopped as IWU got to the line 32 times, converting 27 of those attempts for 84.4 percent while their visitors struggled to find their way there. HU finished 10-for-16 for 62.5 percent.

For all but 60 seconds, it was a two-possession game throughout the first half with the Wildcats holding the upper hand. The Foresters forced four ties but couldn’t get over the hump as they never held a lead in the first twenty minutes. Seniors Shane Merryman and TJ Short scored 16 and ten points respectively to keep their team within striking distance, 39-37, at break.

Huntington came out of the locker room with renewed energy to force two more ties in the midst of taking the lead on two different occasions. An Alec Peterson put back at the 17:41 mark gave his team a 43-42 advantage but it wasn’t long before IWU reclaimed the lead, this time for good.

The pesky Foresters never went away but when both bigs fouled out, Daniel Woll at the 11:44 mark and Alec Peterson just over two minutes later, HU made only final push to pull within one at 60-58 with just over eight minutes remaining before Wesleyan bullied their way down low to gradually pull away for the double digit win.

Merryman finished with a game-high 28 points to go along with seven rebounds. Short added 12 points. After a quiet first half, Derek Hinen scored all ten of his points in the final twenty minutes. He also handed out a game-best nine assists to finish one handout shy of a double double.

RJ Mahurin led a balanced Wildcat attack with 19 points. Lane Mahurin and Jordan Weidner each tossed in 17 and Nathan Bubash came off the bench to score 15.

The Foresters will look to bounce back on Saturday when they travel to Goshen to take on the Maple Leafs at 3:00 p.m.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 16 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 39 NAIA All-America honors and 213 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.
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Ashley C. Smith
Associate Director for Media Relations
260.359.4171
Joanne Green
Sports Information Director
260.359.4284