It took five players scoring in double figures, but the Huntington University men's basketball team withstood a 40-point outburst by Jason Dawson of visiting Mount Vernon Nazarene to win 82-69 on Saturday, Jan. 5.
The Foresters, 11-6, struggled to contain Dawson, who made 12 of 16 shots, including 6 of 8 from beyond the arc, and all 10 of his free throws attempts.
However, Shane Merryman countered with 23 for Huntington, followed by Alec Peterson's 16, Ryan Boester's 14, T.J. Short's 12 and Colin Featherston's 10 to tip the scales in the hosts' favor.
The Cougars were resilient throughout the game, chipping away at the Foresters' leads and taking the game to seven ties. An eighth knot was in sight for the visitors as they trailed just 58-56 at the 7:45 mark in the second half when Huntington went on a 9-0 run to put the game out reach.
Peterson got things started with a bucket in the paint, followed by Boester sinking two shots at the charity stripe. A pair of Merryman baskets with a Boester freebie in between completed the series.
For the game, Huntington made 26 of 51 shots for 51 percent versus Mount Vernon Nazarene's 22 of 53 effort for 41.5 percent. The Foresters made the most of their trips to the free throw line, converting 29 of 35 attempts for a mark of 82.9.
The Foresters hit 16 of 26 field goal tries in the second half for 61.5 percent.
HU won the battle fo the boards, 35-25 as Merryman, Peterson and Tyler Ault each grabbed seven.
Merryman and Short each had three assists to lead in that category.