Late HU rally falls short against #4 IWU

The Huntington University men's basketball team came back from nine points down in the second half but couldn't quite get the job done in a 61-58 loss to host Indiana Wesleyan on Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Shane Merryman, who led HU with 23 points, missed what would have been a game-tying 3-pointer as time expired as the Foresters dropped to 12-13 on the season, 3-10 in Crossroads League play.

A 3-pointer by the Wildcats' D.J. Bettinger put Indiana Wesleyan up 45-36 with 11:43 left in the contest, and the hosts were still up by seven points with 9:11 left in the game. A 7-1 run by HU, highlighted by two Merryman buckets, got the margin to one point at 50-49 with 5:23 to play, but Marion then ran out to a 57-51 lead in the next two minutes. HU then closed to within one point again when T.J. Short hit a bucket off an IWU turnover to put things at 59-58 with 1:19 left to play, but HU couldn't connect on its last two shots and Patrick Hopkins got a last field goal for IWU.

Merryman connected on 11 of 15 field goals, hauled in a team-high eight rebounds and handed out a team-high three assists for HU. Colin Featherston contributed nine points.

Hopkins was top gun for IWU with a game-high 25 points, including a 10 of 12 performance at the free-throw line, and he ripped down a game-high 16 rebounds as well to help fourth-ranked IWU improve to 22-3 overall, 11-2 in conference play.

Bettinger tossed in 13 points for IWU.

The Foresters hit 22 of 50 shots from the field for 44 percent and hurt themselves with an 11 of 20, 55 percent effort at the free-throw line. IWU hit 22 of 45 from the field for 48.9 percent and 12 of 19 from the stripe for 63.2 percent.

IWU won the battle of the boards, 30-21.