January 19, 2008

SU Wins Fourth Straight, Robinson Leads Crusaders in Double Figures

SELINSGROVE, PA – Susquehanna (8-7, 5-0) won for the fourth straight time, defeating Merchant Marine (6-9, 2-3), 76-62 in a Landmark Conference home game. Senior Josh Robinson (Mahwah, N.J./River Dell) led SU in double figures, scoring a game-high 26 points while also dishing out five assists. Junior Joel Patch (Conklin, N.Y./Susquehanna Valley) and sophomore Bryan Majors (Harrisburg, Pa./Harrisburg) added 11 points each.

Merchant Marine’s sophomore Max Paul opened the game with a fast break layup, but SU responded with a Robinson trey to take a 3-2 lead. The Crusades kept the lead over the proceeding seven-plus minutes, despite the Mariners knotting the score four times. A successful three-point connection by Merchant Marine’s junior Matt Oaks at the 8:26 mark, gave the Mariners a 19-18 advantage. However, over the next two possessions, the Crusaders scored five unanswered points from traditional three-point plays by Rob Cosgrove (Leesburg, Fla./Leesburg) and Patch.

In the first half, the Crusaders shot 50 percent from the floor (14-of-28) including 12 by Robinson. He hit on 3-of-6 from three-point land as the team hit on 5-of-16 attempts. SU had 13 assists on 14 first half hoops.

The Crusaders led 38-32 at the break. The orange and maroon defense, meanwhile scored 10 points off eight Mariner turnovers. Merchant Marine attempted only one free throw in the half, while SU was 5-for-5 five.

Susquehanna’s lead was cut to three, 38-35, by a three-point play from Merchant Marine’s Paul in the opening minutes of the second half. The Mariners gained its first advantage since the opening minutes of the game with back-to-back triples from junior Pat Grace and freshman Matt Hueber to put Merchant Marine up by four, 47-43. The Crusaders battled the Mariners over the next six minutes before SU knotted the score at 52. Brad Okonak’s (Lebanon, Pa./Lebanon) three-point connection at the 7:56 mark ignited an 11-0 run to give the Crusaders its largest lead of the game, 67-56, with just over three minutes left in regulation. Merchant Marine tried to counter the attack with back-to-back layups from Hueber, but SU pulled away in the final minute to cruise to a 76-62 victory.

Susquehanna finished the game shooting 44 percent from the field (21-of-47). Majors and Robinson both dished out five assists apiece, while Majors recorded a game-best five steals. Patch (3), Cosgrove (3), and Hunter McKain (Ligonier, Pa./Shady Side Academy) (3) combined for nine of the team’s 11 blocks. Grace had 17 points to pace the Mariners. Hueber finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, and Oaks chipped in with 11.

Susquehanna will take to the road for its next two games. They open with a 7:30 p.m. contest at Catholic University on Saturday, Jan. 26.