Huntington overcomes slow start to pull off Grace No. 9
VSN (admin) Published on Sunday, January 16, 2022 – 13:30
HUNTINGTON, Ind. –The Huntington men’s basketball team got off to a slow start to knock out Grace, 88-74, on Saturday afternoon in a packed Platt Arena. The No. 9 Lancers are the highest-ranked opponent HU have eliminated during Coach Alford’s two-year tenure.
“I was extremely proud of the way we reacted to adversity from the start,” says the coach Kory Alford. “Our bench brought us energy and we knew how to increase things on the defensive side. I also thought today’s crowd was fantastic.”
The Foresters had their work cut out when they spotted Grace with a 20-2 lead to start the game. Spencer BallingerStepping into the lane at the 12:37 mark was the start of Huntington’s turnaround.
The Alford crew went to work after that with Caleb Middlesworth take the first shift. The 6-8 senior scored six of the Foresters’ next nine points to cut the lead to 24-15 at the halfway point. HU’s three starting guards took control of the next ten minutes as they accounted for 23 of their side’s last 26 points of the half.
It was a pair of Ben Humrichous three on each side of Peyton WestThe traditional three-point play from which ultimately gave the Foresters their first 35-34 lead with just over two minutes left in the frame. We are Zach Goodline each dropped a long ball after that to send HU into intermission with a 41-36 advantage.
The flurry of activity that marked the first half saw Huntington beat Grace 39-16 in the 13 minutes before the break for a 23-point swing. HU’s push continued into the second half with Goodline’s pull-up down the hall at 16:39, giving the hosts their first double-digit lead at 50-39.
The lead remained in double digits most of the time thereafter, with one of the few exceptions with less than four minutes remaining when Grace (17-3, 6-2) cut it to seven at 75 -68. The Foresters’ response was an immediate 7-0 run with no backtracking as the 14-point cushion stood late in the game.
Goodline had 21 points and six assists. Humrichous, who had the daunting task of defending the league’s top scorer in Frankie Davidson, added 20 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists while keeping Davidson eight points below his season average. West and Middlesworth each had 13 points and grabbed eight and seven rebounds, respectively.
Elijah Malone led the Lancers with 21 points and eight boards. Davidson finished with 14 points while Jake Wadding added 11 to round out Grace’s double-digit tally for the game.
The baseline for the Foresters was striking. Along with shooting 48.5 percent from the floor, which included a 9-for-21 from downtown, HU made 15 of 17 free throw attempts and committed just nine errors. It’s the fourth game in a row that the Alford side have turned the ball over less than ten times.
“Ben did a great job on both sides of the pitch,” noted Alford. “Peyton and Zach led us on the ball defensively and hit a few key shots throughout the game. It’s been two weeks since the opponents of the Crossroads League have been ranked and I think we have been able to improve with each game. We learned a lot about who we are as a team and what it takes to compete at a high level.”
Today’s game was HU’s fourth straight game against a Top 25 team. After losing to #25 USF, #22 Marian and #9 IWU, Foresters are back in the win column this afternoon to move to 14-6 on aggregate, 3-5 in the league. Next up is a trip to Goshen on Tuesday.
Grace College Huntington University Men’s Basketball Crossroads League Game Results