Huntington rally earns 77-74 win over USF

by | Jan 23, 2019 | Headlines, RRSN News | 0 comments

HUNTINGTON, Ind. – It’s not how long you hold a lead that matters but rather when you hold the lead as the Huntington men’s basketball team learned firsthand in their 77-74 win over Saint Francis Tuesday night at Platt Arena.

After enjoying a brief lead at the start of the second frame, the Foresters didn’t sit atop their visitors again until Zac Owens buried a triple from the top of the key for a 75-74 HU tilt with 35 ticks remaining.

It wasn’t time to celebrate just yet as there was still plenty of game to be played. USF pulled the trigger on a long ball with :20 seconds to go that rattled off the rim but back into the hands of the Cougars. Ten seconds later, Connor Lautzenheiser drew a foul in the paint and went to the line for a pair of freebies and the potential go ahead.

The 80.0 percent shooter missed both attempts forcing the visitors to foul. They sent freshman Peyton West to the charity stripe for the one-and-one where he calmly drained both to up the Foresters’ lead to three at 77-74 with six seconds remaining. Huntington native Hunter Hollowell got one last look from deep but his shot clanked off the front of the rim as time expired to deny USF an extension to the contest.

The win avenges an 80-75 loss to the Cougars back in November as the Foresters improve to 14-9 overall, 4-7 in league play. Saint Francis is currently 12-11 on the year which includes a 5-6 record in CL action.

The first half was a bit of a role reversal from the second as the hosts, aside from a short stint early in the game, maintained a lead throughout the opening 20 minutes. On more than one occasion, Platt’s crew built a double-digit advantage but each time the Cougars responded. HU’s last ten-point lead of 36-26 came at the 2:28 mark when Konner Platt cut baseline for an easy lay-in on a pass from West but as had happened previously, USF countered.

This time around, Saint Francis manufactured an 11-2 run, which included a trio of treys, to close out the frame for a mere one-point halftime separation of 38-37 favoring HU to set the stage for the dramatic finish.

Owens topped all scorers with 23 points to go along with a career-best and game-high nine assists. Caleb Middlesworth netted 17 points while West and Platt added 12 points apiece and six rebounds each.

For Saint Francis, Hollowell finished with 20 points, which included 15 points from deep, and seven boards. Lautzenheiser and Jeffrey Reynolds chipped in 15 and 14 points respectively.

The Foresters are on the road Saturday to face Spring Arbor at 3:00 p.m.

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