SELINSGROVE, Pa. – It took nearly the entire 40 minutes of action to determine the winner of Tuesday night’s men’s basketball season opener between Susquehanna and New Jersey City, but ultimately the Gothic Knights hung on for the 68-64 victory.
Reigning Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year Harley Sellinger (Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain) posted a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Joining him in double figures was Spenser Spencer (Seattle, Wash./Lakeside), who chipped in 17 points. Freshman Matt McGugan (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) added nine points off the bench to go along with five boards and two assists in his 20 minutes of action.
Three-point shots were falling for SU (0-1), as the Crusaders shot 50 percent for the game (7-for-14) and shot better than 41 percent from the floor. Spencer led the way with three treys.
The lead changed hands eight times with the largest margin being a seven-point edge by New Jersey City (1-0) less than midway through the second half.
SU led by six with 15:25 to play in the first half thanks to a Sellinger layup but eight minutes later, the Gothic Knights took a 22-21 lead. New Jersey City maintained a lead for the final 2:44 of the half and led 36-32 at the midway point.
The Crusaders never regained the lead over the final 20 minutes although they did make it a one-point game (54-53) on a Spencer layup with 4:59 on the clock.
The Gothic Knights led by six with 17 seconds to play, forcing Susquehanna to foul, and New Jersey City sank two free throws which were enough to hold on for the lead.
SU returns to action on Nov. 22 with a 7 p.m. game at Lycoming.
Crusader Men Narrowly Edged in Season Opener