HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Three players in double figures, led by a double-double by Harley Sellinger (Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain), failed to hand Susquehanna men’s basketball team a win in its Landmark Conference opener. The Crusaders fell 71-56 at Juniata on Saturday evening in Huntingdon.
Sellinger had a game-high 17 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Senior Spenser Spencer (Seattle, Wash./Lakeside) added 15 points and five assists while freshman Matt McGugan (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) had 15 points off the bench to go along with three rebounds.
Susquehanna shot an even 37 percent for the game while Juniata shot better than 44 percent and sank a third of its three-pointers while SU drained only 25 percent of its shots from beyond the arc. The Crusaders also had 18 turnovers, which led to 23 Juniata points, while the Eagles committed just eight miscues all night.
SU (0-4, 0-1) jumped out to an early 5-2 lead within the first two-and-a-half minutes of action. Two minutes later, though, Juniata (6-1, 1-0) took a 6-5 lead and proceeded to go on an 8-2 run that made it 14-7 with 12 minutes to play in the first half.
The Crusaders countered by going on a 6-2 run of their own to make it a 16-13 ballgame with 10:25 on the clock. All six of those points came courtesy of two McGugan treys.
With 5:33 on the clock, it remained a three-point game (23-20) before the Eagles rattled off nine-straight points for a 29-20 lead. However, SU scored nine of the final 13 points of the half to cut Juniata’s lead to four (33-29) at the midway point of the game.
Susquehanna knotted the game at 33 thanks to a J.T. Wilson (Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII Regional) layup 70 seconds into the second half, but the Crusaders failed to take the lead due to eight unanswered Eagles points that made it 41-33 with 16:38 to play.
Two Sellinger free throws with 10:11 on the clock made the score 46-43 and another McGugan three-pointer knotted it at 46 with less than 10 minutes remaining. SU was still unable to grab the lead, however, as Juniata built its lead to seven (53-46) inside the eight-minute mark.
With 5:09 to play, a Sellinger free throw made it a two-point game (55-53) but Eagles another run, this time a 9-2 stretch, made it 64-55 and burned four minutes off the clock.
SU trailed by eight (64-56) with 53 seconds remaining and failed to score another point, falling by the final score of 71-56.
The Crusaders return home on Dec. 5 for the first time since mid-November when they host Misericordia at 7:30 p.m.
Landmark Opener Goes Against Crusaders