The Huntington University men's basketball team and visiting Spring Arbor University exchanged the lead nine times in the first 10 minutes of their game on Saturday, Feb. 16, before the Cougars built a lead that they wouldn't relinquish, sending the Foresters to a 75-58 defeat.
The Cougars struck at the 10-minute mark of the first half, erasing a momentary 22-21 lead for Huntington and replacing it with a 15-4 run that made things 36-26 with 6:13 to go until the half. Spring Arbor took a 41-30 lead into the locker room and re-emerged in the second half just as hot, pushing the lead to as many as 20.
Shane Merryman put up 28 points for the Foresters, 16-14, 7-11 in the Crossroads League, on 10 of 19 shooting and a 7 of 7 showing at the charity stripe. T.J. Short backed him up with 18 points, but no other Forester scored more than four.
The Cougars got 31 points from Rob Hogans, who shot 11 for 20 from the field, 5 for 7 from three-point range and 4 for 6 at the free-throw line, followed by Chris Bellamy's 19 and eight from both Matt Carden and Matt Howe.
Spring Arbor made 25 of 54 shots for 46.3 percent to Huntington's 18 for 56 showing for 32.1 percent. The shooting disparity widened beyond the arc, where the Cougars sank 8 of 12 for 66.7 percent and the Foresters made only 4 of 16 for 25 percent.
A 42-31 rebounding disadvantage also didn't help the Forester cause.
Alec Peterson led HU on the boards with eight rebounds.