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Foresters score upset win over No. 13 IU East

POINTS: Caleb Middlesworth dropped 22 points in Huntington’s 73–71 upset win over No. 13 IU East on Tuesday.

by Eric Andrews - eandrews@h-ponline.com

The Huntington University men’s basketball team returned to the court on Tuesday night, earning a hard-fought 73–71 upset win over No. 13 IU East. The victory improved the Foresters’ season record to 2–0.

The opening half featured back-and-forth action, with neither team opening up a lead of any significance, though Huntington eventually opened up a six-point lead at 23–17. But, the Red Wolves would answer with a 10–0 run to take a 27–23 advantage. The Foresters stopped the bleeding late in the half, but IU East took a 28–25 lead into the break.

The teams duked it out early in the second half, but a 15–5 run for Huntington would re-establish an advantage for the guests at 52–45, which would prove to be the biggest margin of the night. The run was highlighted by an uncommon four-point play by sharpshooter Konner Platt.

The Red Wolves refused to give in and stayed in the game, taking a 59–58 lead with 6:22 remaining, but the Foresters would regain the lead and hold on down the stretch for the 73–71 upset triumph on a night that saw 19 lead changes.

“I am absolutely very thrilled to get a road win over a very good opponent,” said head coach Ty Platt in a press release. “I’m proud of the effort we played for 40 minutes, the attention to detail and commitment to the defensive end. … We didn’t play perfect by any stretch, but the guys played their roles and fought like dogs all night long.”

Konner Platt paced all players in the game with 25 points and added three rebounds and three assists to round out his night.

Caleb Middlesworth was not far behind, draining 22 points including sinking a game-best four makes from beyond the arc.

Spencer Ballinger did it all for Huntington with 12 points and game-high totals of six steals and four assists to go along with six boards.

Andrew Yoder paced the Foresters with eight rebounds and chipped in with seven points, while Klajd Kiri scored seven points off the bench to round out the scoring for Huntington in addition to tallying a game-best three blocks.

Bishop Smith led IU East with 19 points, while Isiah Moore and Keating Rombach rounded out the double-figure production for the Red Wolves with 16 and 13 points, respectively. Jehu Lafeuille rounded out the stat leaders with 11 rebounds for IU East.

The Foresters will return to Platt Arena this weekend, hosting the annual Ness Bros. Hall of Fame Tournament.

“We look forward to hosting our Hall of Fame tourney this weekend,” Ty Platt said in the press release. “We have some really good teams coming and we are excited to put HU basketball’s first national tournament team in our Hall of Fame.”

Huntington will kick off the tournament by hosting Judson on Friday at 8 p.m.