Foresters rain shots on No. 3 USF in 97-71 upset

Photo provided.
Mike Bush

The Huntington University men’s basketball team rained shots from near and far on visiting, third-ranked University of Saint Francis on the way to a 97-71 upset of the third-ranked NAIA squad on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

The Foresters hit 38 of 58 shots from the field for 65.5 percent, including 13 of 20 from long distance for 65 percent to send the Cougars to just their fifth loss in 27 outings this season. The Foresters hit 20 of 33 shots for 60.6 percent in the opening half, when they opened up  a 53-28 lead, and then banged in 18 of 25 shots in the second half for 72 percent to crush any USF comeback chance.

They added 8 of 9 from the free-throw line for 88.9 percent.

Six Foresters reached double figures in scoring in the fireworks display, led by Mike Bush with 20 points and Konner Platt with 19. Tyler Arens added 16 points, Trevor Lockwood had 13, Zac Owens notched 12 off the bench and Devon Merder added 11.

Owens was a perfect 5 of 5 from the field on the night, Bush was 8 of 12 and Platt hit 7 of 10.

HU improved to 11-16 overall, 7-8 in the Crossroads League.

Bryce Lienhoop led Saint Francis with 19 points, and Chandler White added 17 points. Former HU player Derek Hinen, who lit up HU for 22 points in USF’s win over HU a month ago, had just four points this go-round.

The Foresters had 25 assists for their 38 hoops, with Bush notching 12 and Lockwood and Platt each dishing out four.

The Foresters also won the battle of the boards, 35-23, with Lockwood grabbing 10.

This was the third time this season the Foresters had upset a ranked team. They beat fourth-ranked Indiana Wesleyan on Dec. 2 and 13th-ranked Bethel on Jan. 23.

USF, ranked eighth nationally in field goal percentage, hit only 28 of 64 from the field for 43.8 percent. The Cougars hit 11 of 12 from the charity stripe for 91.7 percent.