HUNTINGTON, Ind. - The Huntington men’s basketball wasted no time taking control of Thursday’s Crossroads matchup against Goshen College as they sprinted out to a 19-2 lead and then cruised to the 75-50 win over the Maple Leafs.
It is often said that defense wins games and Huntington proved that saying true as they forced four Maple Leaf turnovers and took three charges in the opening six minutes of play to limit their visitors to a single field goal on their way to blowing the game wide open.
A stunned Goshen squad never fully recovered as they scored a season low 50 points and were never able to trim the lead to single-digits. The Foresters limited GC to nine field goals each half on 34.0 percent shooting (18-for-53) and forced the Maple Leafs to cough up the ball 25 times.
On the other end of the court, Huntington shot a noble 46.4 percent (26-for-56) from the field and found their way to the charity stripe more than twice as often Goshen, outscoring the Maple Leafs 21-10 at the line.
Leading the way for HU was Shane Merryman who posted a game-best 28 points on 10-for-13 shooting and eight rebounds, also a game-high. Alec Peterson chipped in 15 points and Colin Featherston added another 11.
It was these three who set the tone early as they accounted for 17 of HU’s first 19 points. It was a near flawless six minutes of basketball for the Foresters as they raced out to a 17-point advantage.
A quick timeout by Goshen slowed HU’s red hot start as their offense sputtered over the next four minutes to allow the Maple Leafs to whittle the lead to 12 on two different occasions but they would get no closer as HU headed into the locker room with a 36-21 advantage.
Merryman dominated the second period, scoring 20 of his team’s 50 points. HU’s lead reached its pinnacle at 71-36 with 6:01 to play but the fighting Maple Leafs weren’t ready to settle for a 35-point blowout. They pieced together a 14-4 run to close out the game, shaving ten points off their deficit to finish on an upswing.
Jerron Jamerson and Jan Zawadzki tossed in 13 and 11 points respectively for Goshen in the losing effort.
Goshen, on a seven game skid and still looking for their first conference win, drop to 0-7 in league play and 7-11 overall while HU improves to 12-7 overall, 3-4 in Crossroads play.
The Foresters wrap up the week with a road trip to Taylor University on Saturday for a 3:00 p.m. tip-off with the Trojans.