Foresters dispatch Taylor to finish regular season 24-6

Timely runs by the Huntington University men's basketball team helped it dispatch visiting Taylor, 55-44, in a defensive battle on Saturday, Feb. 22.

The Foresters limited the Trojans to 33.3 percent shooting on a 14 for 42 effort while being held themselves to a shooting mark of 35.7 percent on a 15 for 42 showing.

Because of the defense, Coach Ty Platt's squad struggled to put separation between itself and its Crossroads League foe for much of the first half, leading by only four, 15-11, with 8:28 until intermission. A balanced offensive run, though, featuring five and three points, respectively, from seniors TJ Short and Shane Merryman, plus a freebie by junior Alec Peterson, finally pushed Huntington's lead into double digits, 24-11, by 4:10, and the hosts enjoyed a 24-15 halftime advantage.

Huntington was up by 13 at the 11:26 mark in the second stanza when Ben Raichel tossed in five points during a 7-0 scoring spurt for Taylor that cut the Foresters' lead down to six, 35-29, with 8:16 to go. The hosts were still clinging to that slim margin nearly three minutes later at 42-36 when freshman Daniel Woll scored all four of his points for the contest during a 7-0 points binge for Huntington that Short capped with a trey to put the Foresters up by 13 once more, 49-36, with 2:43 remaining. Huntington then sealed the win at the charity stripe, improving to 24-6, 13-5 in conference.

Merryman paired a game-high 19 points with a season-best 14 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season, which helped give the Foresters a 33-28 edge on the glass. Short finished with 11 points, a total that freshman Derek Hinen matched.

Hinen also dished out a game-best six assists.

The Foresters made up for their lackluster shooting by going 20 for 24 at the line for 83.3 percent, a performance highlighted by Merryman and Hinen's combined 15 of 16 effort.

Jesse Coffey tossed in 10 points as the lone double-digit scorer for the Trojans, who drop to 11-18, 5-13 in league play.