HUNTINGTON, Ind. -- Host Huntington (Ind.) University overcame a double-digit first-half deficit, downing 14th-ranked Bellevue University, 81-78, in the championship game of the Ness Bros. Hall of Fame Tournament Saturday afternoon in Platt Arena.
The loss dropped the Bruins to 3-4 on the season. Huntington improved to 5-1 overall with the win.
Senior Richard Reed led the Bruins with 20 points, three assists and a pair of rebounds. Sequan Walker added 14 points, five rebounds, and two assists. Josh Meier finished with 12 points and four boards and Stephen Matthews contributed with 11 points, including a team-high three 3-pointers.
Only five HU players scored in the contest, but all five registered double-digit totals including a game-high 23 points from Tyler Arens.
The Bruins led by as many as 16 points at 30-14 following a 16-2 run, before HU closed the opening period on a 25-10 spurt to cut the deficit to 40-39 at the intermission. Both teams connected on seven 3-pointers in the first half as the Bruins held the narrow one-point lead at the break. Jaron Dickson led BU in the opening half with 10 points and five rebounds. Dickson, Walker, and Matthews all nailed a pair of triples in the opening 20 minutes, but Dickson was held scoreless in the second half.
The Foresters were led by Arens' 14 first-half points.
HU opened the second half on an 8-2 run to take a 48-42 lead with 16 minutes left in the contest.
Four-straight points from Walker made it a one-point contest at 50-49 at the 13-minute mark. The Bruins trailed by as many as six points at 59-53 before a 3-pointer by Reed drew BU to within one point at 66-65 with 5:10 remaining in the contest.
A pair of free throws by Arens gave the Foresters their biggest lead of the game at 80-73 with 1:38 remaining. Reed scored all five points in a 5-1 BU run to make it a single-possession game at 81-78 with 42 seconds left in the game.
After a missed 3-pointer by HU's Caleb Middlesworth, Matthews 3-pointer at the buzzer was just off the mark, to help the Forester's preserve the three-point victory.
The Bruins will travel to Chicago, Ill. next weekend to participate in the Roosevelt Classic on Nov. 16-17.