INDIANAPOLIS – The No. 13 Marian men’s basketball team advanced to the Crossroads League Tournament semifinals after defeating the Huntington Foresters 86-71 in the opening round Wednesday evening. The quarterfinals victory marks the Knights’ 11th straight win.
The first half got off to a sluggish start, neither offense able to go on an early run and grab a strong advantage. Heading into the first media timeout, Marian had its first lead of the night at 9-8 thanks to a Christian Harvey 3-pointer.
Despite the slow start, Marian was able to gain a hold in next several minutes, jumping to a 14-point lead following an 18-2 surge started by the Harvey three. During the overpowering run, Marian forced six Huntington turnovers off four steals.
Huntington tried to respond and started knocking down shots. The Knights would not be phased and continued to push the ball and score points on the other end.
Marian closed out the half limiting Forester points and keeping a double-digit lead. Heading into the break, the Knights held a 41-28 advantage.
Cameron Wolter led all scorers in the first half dropping 15 points off 6-8 shooting from the field. Wolter also contributed three of the six first half steals.
Marian forced nine turnovers in the half and made three blocks during their stifling defensive play.
Coming back from the break, Huntington attempted to claw its way back into contention drawing within nine points just two minutes into the half.
The Knights responded again with a run of their own. The 10-0 run featured a steal and fast break dunk from Harvey and was capped off by a Malek Edmonds 3-point bucket putting Marian ahead by 17 with more than 14 minutes remaining in the half.
The Knights continued to keep their foot on the pedal and prevent the Foresters from digging out of their deficit. Neither team was able to mount a serious run for the remainder of the game despite both teams shooting at high percentages.
Marian finished out the game strong and held the Foresters from making a late comeback, clinching the quarterfinals victory 86-71.
Leading the Knights on offense, Wolter logged a double-double dropping 19 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. The senior also nabbed three steals and made a block to lead Marian on the defensive side of the ball.
Harvey brought the energy to the Knights’ victory and also contributed 16 points, four rebounds, and two steals to help the cause. Rounding out the Marian scoring efforts, Tyrie Johnson tallied 13 points off 5-9 shooting alongside Christian Stewart’s 12 points and six assists.
The Knights shot 54.5% from the field and dropped nine 3-pointers. The hosts also tallied 11 steals distributed across seven different players while forcing 14 Huntington turnovers. Marian scored 24 points off the 14 Huntington turnovers and helped itself to 26 points off the bench.
Following the quarterfinals victory, the Knights advance to the Crossroads League Tournament semifinals to face Mt. Vernon Nazarene. Marian hosts the Cougars at 6 p.m. on John Grimes Court for the showdown.