HUNTINGTON, Ind. – The No. 22 HU men’s basketball team (13-7, 5-3) claimed sole possession of second place in conference play with a 83-70 win over the Trojans of Taylor University (14-6, 3-5) Saturday afternoon.
The Foresters shot a sizzling 61.2% (30-for-49) for the game which included knocking down nine of its 12 attempts behind the arc. They also held a 36-19 advantage on the boards, grabbing one-third of their own misses for 15 second chance points.
Up against one of the toughest defensive teams in the country, Huntington picked apart Taylor’s defense to catapult in front of the Trojans 37-23 by halftime. Leading the way was freshman Ryan Boester who drained a pair of treys on his way to a 10-point first half performance. Caleb Kennedy tossed in nine points and teamed up with his partner-in-crime down low, Shane Merryman, to grab a combined 15 rebounds, five more than the entire Trojan team.
After holding Taylor’s sharp-shooting Casey Coons to just three points in the opening period, the Foresters couldn’t contain the MCC’s second leader scorer as he drained four threes in the opening minutes of the second stanza to almost single-handedly knot the score at 39-39 by the 16:10 mark.
Nick Teeter then took a turn showcasing his soft touch by reigning in a trio of threes to spark an HU run that swelled their lead to 66-50 with seven plus minutes left to play. The Trojans made one final push to pull within ten but the Foresters would have none of it as Boester, Merryman and Teeter each took turns drilling the long bomb to ward off the Trojans for the win.
Boester poured in a career best 22 points and dished out a game-high eight assists to pace HU. Teeter added 14 points and Merryman chipped in 11 points and grabbed a game-high 12 boards for the double double.
Coons led all scorers with 26 points which included eight 3s. Tommy Peller and Nate Kasper tossed in 20 and 14 points respectively for the Trojans.
HU plays in the friendly confines of the Merillat Complex again on Tuesday against Bethel College at 7:00 p.m.