Second-half scoring spree leads HU men past No. 4 IWU

Photo provided.
Mike Bush

A second-half scoring spree propelled the Huntington University men’s basketball team to an 87-84 upset of fourth-ranked Indiana Wesleyan University on Saturday, Dec. 2, at Platt Arena.

Trailing the Wildcats by nine, 61-52, with 10:05 to go in the game, the Foresters went on 14-2 points binge to turn the game on its head, taking a 66-63 lead with 6:25 remaining. Senior Trevor Lockwood got the scoring started for Coach Ty Platt’s squad, converting an old-fashioned three-point play. Senior Devon Merder followed that up with a conventional three-pointer, drawing a foul from the Wildcats’ Trevor Waite in the process. After Merder swished the ensuing free throw, senior Mike Bush took a foul from Canaan Coffey and tossed in two more freebies for the hosts. Following an IWU bucket by Kyle Mangas, Bush scored in the paint, then put the exclamation point on the run with a triple that gave Huntington a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

Bush led the Foresters, 5-6, 1-2 in Crossroads League play, with 25 points, tallying all but four of them in the second stanza. The point guard did much of his damage at the free throw line, where he drained 12 of 13 attempts. He also got his squadmates involved with a team-high four assists.

Junior Tyler Arens and sophomore Konner Platt put forth a pair of 16-point efforts while Merder topped out at 13 points for Huntington.

Arens also corralled a game-best eight rebounds for the hosts, who lost the battle of the boards, 40-30.

The first half saw Huntington trail by as many as 10 points before halving the deficit to 39-34 by intermission.

The Foresters hit 25 of 56 field goal attempts for 44.6 percent. The added 32 points in 40 attempts at the charity stripe for 80 percent.

IWU, 8-2, 2-1 in league action, got 19 points and 11 rebounds from Mangas and 17 points from Evan Maxwell.

The Wildcats went 32 of 59 from the field and 13 for 24 at the line, both for 54.2 percent.