HUNTINGTON, Ind. – It was pesky defense that propelled the Huntington men’s basketball team to its first win Tuesday night, a 71-57 decision, over Lawrence Tech.
The Blue Devils entered the evening averaging over 76 points through its first two games but the Foresters made sure that didn’t happen in Platt Arena. HU limited their visitors to 32.2 percent shooting (19-for-59) which included holding Devonte Myles to just two field goals and six freebies for ten points, nearly 15 points under what he has been averaging.
Huntington’s defense was also relentless in the paint as they gave up just 18 points in the lane while swatting ten shots. Tyler Arens took charge inside by snarling a team-best seven rebounds while registering a career-best six blocks.
At the other end of the hardwood, a balanced attack characterized Coach Platt’s offense. Arens dropped in 18 points to lead the way. Mike Bush finished with 12 points and handed out a game-high nine assists while Konner Platt added 11 points.
As a team, the Foresters connected on 28 of their 60 field goals for 46.7 percent, which included nine from long range.
Arens got his team off to a good start by scoring seven of HU’s first nine points including a three at the top of the key at the 15:38 mark for a 9-6 advantage that was never relinquished. His triple sparked a 13-2 run that featured a pair of long balls from the Platt brothers and was capped off with a put back from Trevor Lockwood for a 19-8 lead by the midway point of the first session.
The teams traded baskets the rest of the half as the 11-point difference remained, 34-23, heading into intermission. Andrew Yoder, in his first collegiate start, scored five of his seven points in the opening two minutes of the second period to give Huntington its largest lead, a 39-26 tilt, up to that point.
It looked like a blowout in the making but the Blue Devils weren’t having it. Instead, LTU countered with a slew of threes. Alek Ivanovic drained three of his team’s four long balls over an eight-minute span to dwindle the lead to a single point at 43-42.
Behind Arens and Konner Platt, the hosts remained poised. Arens posted an and one while Platt buried one from deep to grow the lead back to seven just inside of ten minutes remaining. Six minutes later the advantage still stood at seven but it was all HU after that.
Arens and Platt each scored again and then Bush took the Foresters home by scoring seven of Huntington’s final nine points which included a pair of threes for the 14-point win.
Ty’rese Searless led Lawrence Tech with 20 points. In addition to Myles’ ten points, he also pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds for the double double.
Since Coach Platt took over the reins in 2008, the Foresters are a perfect 3-0 against the Blue Devils. With tonight’s win, HU is now 1-2 on the year as they look forward to hosting the annual Ness Bros. Hall of Fame Tournament this weekend. The Foresters will face IU Northwest on Friday at 8:00 p.m.