SELINSGROVE, Pa. – In a game that took 45 minutes to decide, sophomore Harley Sellinger (Mill Hall, Pa. / Central Mountain) came up with the game-winning play for the Susquehanna men's basketball team as he laid in the game winner with two seconds on the clock in overtime to give SU a 73-72 win over USMMA.
The game went into overtime after Sellinger sank a free throw to make it 62-all with 1:14 to play in regulation. With less than one second left in the second half, the Mariners' Denver Effland missed a three-pointer to force overtime.
The Crusaders (7-5, 2-1) held a quick, five-point lead (67-62) with 3:32 to play before surviving USMMA's attempted comeback.
Spenser Spencer (Seattle, Wash. / Lakeside) led the team with 22 points of 8-of-19 shooting while Sellinger chipped in 16 points and seven boards and J.T. Wilson (Sparta, N.J. / Pope John XXIII Regional) finished with 13 points and nine rebounds.
SU sank back-to-back baskets from Mike Perillo (Holmdel, N.J. / Holmdel) and Sellinger to open the game before the Mariners' Reed Buck made it a 6-5 game with a layup at 14:00. The Crusaders retained the lead, though, and increased their margin to five points on a Wilson jumper less than two minutes later that made it 13-8.
USMMA made it tie a game on a Jeffrey Mark jumper with 7:53 to play and took its first lead of the afternoon (18-15) on the next possession.
The Mariners did not give up that lead for the remainder half, and went up by nine (30-21) with 4:12 to play, before SU closed out the half with six unanswered points to make it a 30-27 game at halftime.
USMMA increased their lead to 10 points with 16:55 left in the second half before the Crusaders battled back and knotted the game up at 48 all with 12 minutes on the clock. The 17-7 run was highlighted by a trey from Spencer and Wilson, a Perillo layup and two Wally Rutecki (Springfield, Pa. /Springfield) baskets.
SU regained the lead with a Sellinger layup at 9:02 to go ahead 52-51. Brendan Rezny (Sparta, N.J. / Sparta) made a field goal with 2:53 left in regulation to make the contest 61-59.
The Mariners answered right back with a three pointer by Kevin Kerr to go ahead by one. Sellinger made 1-of-2 free throws to tied the game at 62.
The game headed to overtime after USMMA missed a desperation three pointer as the buzzer sounded.
Spencer finished the afternoon with a game-high 22 points behind 4-of-7 shooting from behind the arc. Sellinger had 16 points and pulled down seven boards. Wilson just missed a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds for SU. Perillo dished out seven assists.
The Mariners (6-8, 1-2) were led by Reed Buck who pumped in 20 points. Kerr chipped in with 11 points.
The Crusaders are back in action on Friday, Jan. 13 when they go on the road against Landmark foe Catholic. Tipoff is slated for 5:30 p.m.