HU men claw way back from 13-point hole to beat Grace in MCC tourney opener

The Huntington University men's basketball team clawed its way back from a 13-point deficit in the second half to beat host Grace College, 76-73, in the first round of the Mid-Central College Conference Men's Basketball Tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Sophomore guard Tyler Shively's runner with 14 seconds to play put HU ahead to stay in the contest at 74-73. A pair of free throws with five seconds to play sealed the Foresters' 20th win of the season against 11 losses.

HU will face second seed Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday, Feb. 28, at Marion. Wesleyan, 25-5, beat Goshen, 66-45, on Wednesday night.

Kellen Zawadzki came off the HU bench with 25 points to lead all scorers. Luke Smith added 22 points and Kyle Benge scored 15.

Huntington took its largest lead of the game at 34-31 to start the second half before Grace, 20-11, went on a 20-4 run over the next 4:17 to take their 13-point advantage at 51-38.

HU didn't quit, however, and after consecutive 3-pointers with 8:59 were back within reach. Grace hit its final field goal with 4:25 and then frittered away several scoring chances to give Huntington its final chances.

Michael Wienhorst led the Lancers with 22 points, but the star of the game for Grace was center Eric Gaff, who had 19 points and 22 rebounds. David Swanson added 12 points.

Kevin Kyle led Huntington on the boards with 10 rebounds, and Smith added eight. Zawadzki added to his point total with three steals.

HU shot 29 of 69 from the field for 42 percent. The Lancers hit 27 of 66 shots for 40.9 percent.

In the other half of the tourney bracket, top seed Bethel beat Taylor, 73-53, and fifth seed Spring Arbor beat fourth seed St. Francis, 73-68

 

Name FG 3 Pt FT Pts RB Ast PF
Huntington University
Kyle Benge 5-17 1-5 4-6 15 3 2 2
Kevin Kyle 4-11 0-0 0-1 8 10 2 2
Alex Nafziger 1-3 0-0 0-0 2 5 1 2
Tyler Shivley 2-6 0-2 0-1 4 1 0 3
Luke Smith 8-13 1-2 5-5 22 8 2 1
Caleb Kennedy 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 2
Andrew Mock 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 2 1 0
Kellen Zawadzki 9-18 3-10 4-5 25 4 0 2
Team 1
Totals 29-69 5-20 13-18 76 35 8 15
Grace College
Eric Gaff 8-20 0-1 3-6 19 22 1 3
David Henry 3-9 2-6 0-0 8 1 3 2
Kyle Plumlee 2-6 0-2 2-2 6 5 2 3
David Swanson 6-10 0-0 0-0 12 7 4 4
Michael Wienhorst 6-16 3-7 7-8 22 3 1 2
Ryan Eakins 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Duke Johnson 1-3 0-0 1-2 3 6 2 1
Dayton Merrell 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2
Jacob Peattie 1-2 0-0 1-2 3 0 1 1
Team
Totals 27-66 5-16 14-20 73 44 14 18