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Huntington men's basketball starts out hot, blazes past Aquinas

by Eric Andrews - eandrews@h-ponline.com

The Huntington University men’s basketball team earned a 78–57 win in a non-conference matchup with Aquinas in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Tuesday. The victory improved the Foresters’ season record to 3–1.

The Huntington offense got off to a hot start, jumping out to a huge 21–5 lead just eight minutes into the game thanks to the strong play of a trio of Foresters in senior forward Tyler Arens, junior guard Konner Platt and senior guard Nick Macon. The three combined to score every single one of the first 21 points for Huntington, with Arens and Platt recording eight points each and Macon five.

The Foresters would never look back from their strong start, holding a 48–28 lead at halftime. Though Aquinas improved their play in the second half, it would not be enough, as Huntington outscored the Saints 30–29 in the half to earn the 78–57 triumph.

“I thought it was a good bounceback win for us,” said head coach Ty Platt. “We were really disappointed in how we played Saturday against St. Xavier. I thought our guys came out with a tremendous amount of focus and were really dialed in from the tip to the end. (It) was probably our best defensive effort of the year without question. That good defense led to better offense for us, so it was a good win.”

Konner Platt would go on to lead the Foresters with 22 points. Freshman forward Caleb Middlesworth tallied 15 points. Arens and Macon finished with 14 and 11 points, respectively, with Arens hauling in a game-high 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Zac Owens rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points.

Defensively, Huntington turned in their best showing of the season, with Aquinas’s 57 points the fewest points the Foresters have allowed all season, 11 fewer than Concordia’s 68 in the season opener.

“I just felt like we made a big step in the right direction in terms of trying to become the team that we want to become,” Ty Platt said. “They have kind of made themselves their own worst enemy now because we, as the coaching staff, know that they can go out and perform defensively like we did and communicate and understand the responsibilities they have, so there’s no excuse. Now we’ve got to go out and do it time after time and game after game.”

The Foresters will return to action on Nov. 9 when they host East-West in Platt Arena. Opening tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.