There’s nothing better than an Indiana basketball rivalry. The Trojans and Foresters rivalry heats back up in Huntington on Saturday, November 20th at 3:00.
By Ryan Walker, Staff Writer
Rivalries are one of the most unique things about sports. Every organized sports team has that one team they get the extra juice to play in.
In basketball, these rivalries typically have two in one season, both sides having another chance to either redeem a previous loss, or, having the opportunity to crown themselves with bragging rights for 365 days.
This is no different between Taylor University and Huntington University, both squads knowing that this game matters for conference play as much as it does to beat the other school. Just 36 miles separate the two from one another.
“There’s always been that rivalry between us and Taylor,” Senior point guard Peyton West said. “I know coach Alford will have us prepared very well for this first matchup against Taylor.”
This rivalry series has been as dead-even as it can be with the last ten meetings stands stiff at a 5-5 record. In fact, last year they squared off twice within four days. The result? 1-1 where Huntington won the first game by 11 points at home and Taylor won the second game by 10.
The series since 1992, according to a HU Basketball program, favors HU 34-26. But to go even deeper, Carson Watkins kindly checked the Huntington library for yearbooks where other scores show that, since 1969, Taylor leads the series 38-37.
So, at the end of the regular season, we will still have a lone leader of the series since 1969. Both teams will play one time at HU, and one time at TU.
The first game will take place Saturday, November 20th at 3:00.
The Trojans will enter Platt Arena with either a 1-6 or 2-5 record (they play tonight against Wilberforce University), with one common game to HU, losing to Governors State.
Taylor brings to the table a solid 3-point shooting team, shooting close to 40%. But that won’t be giving the Foresters the worst of their issues.
Senior forward Jason Hubbard stands at 6’6, 215 pounds of pure muscle and athleticism. The big man from Miamisburg, OH finds himself as the leading scorer and rebounder in the Crossroads League.
“He is a top scorer in our league,” Head coach Kory Alford said. “We just hope to make it difficult for him by not allowing easy looks.”
Nationally, Hubbard is 18th on the NAIA league leaders list for points per game (22.6) and 15th in rebounds per game (11.2).
For Huntington, they don’t have a certain player that stands out statistically, but they do have four players averaging 10 points or more per game, and are a top five team in the NAIA in assists per game (21.0).
They will enter Saturday with a 5-1 record, losing their only game to receiving votes West Virginia Tech in the Terry Polston Hoops For Hope at Grace College.
Lane Sparks lead the way with 25 points on 7-9 from deep. The freshman has been impressive thus far six games into the season in all aspects of the game, including six steals in the Friday-Saturday games against West Virginia Tech and Grace Christian University.
Sophomore Ben Humrichous has been heating up, scoring 16 and 13 over the weekend, including a double-double.