Merryman heave gets HU past Marian

Shane Merryman.
Photo provided.

A last-second three-quarter court heave from Shane Merryman found the bottom of the net and lifted the Huntington University men's basketball team over visiting Marian, 61-59, on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

Aaron Evans' bucket with under a minute remaining gave Marian its first lead in over 10 minutes at 57-56, but a turnaround fade-away 10-footer by Derek Hinen with 4.5 seconds remaining put the Foresters on top by one. The lead lasted just over three seconds as Jason Riley drew a foul and drained both freebies, setting up Merryman's game-winner.

The game was a defensive battle as Huntington shot just 46.3 percent for the game on a 25 for 54 effort and Marian topped out at 51 percent on a 26 for 51 showing. Neither team got to the free throw line more than 10 times and turnovers were at a minimum as the Foresters committed five to the Knights' 10.

Marian enjoyed the game's largest lead at 24-16 with just over seven minutes remaining in the opening half before Huntington closed out the period on a 14-2 run to stake out a 30-26 lead by intermission.

Up until the final minute, the Foresters only trailed two possessions in the final stanza but they were never quite able to shake their visitors as Huntington's lead never exceeded six points.

Merryman finished with 23 points to lead all scorers. TJ Short and Hinen tossed in 13 and 12 points, respectively. Hinen and Ryan Boester shared team-high honors in assists with four while Merryman and Alec Peterson led the team in rebounds with seven apiece.

Marian was paced by Jake Stafford and Evans, who each netted 17 points, while Riley added 12.

Huntington, 9-0, not only extended its perfect season with the win, but gave Coach Ty Platt his 100th career coaching victory.