HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) - he Forester men's basketball team cruised to an 89-51 win at Platt Arena over East-West University on opening night of the Ness Bros. Hall of Fame Tournament. The win sends HU to the championship game on Saturday where they will face #14 Bellevue University at 3:00 p.m.
Huntington has advanced to the championship game of this annual tourney every year of Coach Platt's tenure.
Tonight's matchup was the first between these two squads and it didn't take long for the Foresters to overwhelm their new foe. While it was a just two-point separation six minutes in, a Spencer Ballinger bucket on the front and back end of a 10-0 HU run made for a 20-8 ballgame and proved a permanent double-digit advantage.
HU doubled that lead to 40-16 by the 5:31 mark. Platt's crew would go on to reach the half century mark by intermission while holding the Phantoms to under 20 points for a 50-19 disparity at the break.
The final 20 minutes was more of the same as the lead swelled to as many as 44 by the midway point, 72-48, in a contest where every Foresters not only saw the hardwood, but scored.
When the final buzzer sounded, HU had outscored their visitors by seven in the second stanza for the final 38-point difference. It was the Foresters' largest margin of victory since November 11, 2016 when Platt's crew ran away with a 101-60 win over Great Lakes Christian.
Konner Platt tossed in 19 points as one of five Foresters in double digits. Andrew Yoder added 16 points. Tyler Arens chipped in 13 while Wyatt Hughes and Zac Owens posted 12 and 11 points respectively.
Behind Peyton West's six assists, Huntington did a nice job of sharing the ball as 22 of their 34 buckets were assisted. The Foresters were also active defensively as 14 of the 23 turnovers they forced were steals. Platt and Caleb Middlesworth each swiped three. Middlesworth along with James Gardner each pulled down seven boards to top their team in rebounding.
Carl Moore scored 15 points to lead East-West while Isaiah Grace added eight points and controlled the glass with a game-high 17 rebounds, six of which were offensive.
With this win, Huntington improves to 4-1 while the Phantoms (0-9) are left still looking for that first win of the year.
The Huntington University Foresters compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 38 NAIA All-America honors and 296 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.