WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The defense of the Susquehanna men’s basketball team shut down Carnegie Mellon in the opening game of the King’s Tournament in what resulted in a 66-51 victory for the Crusaders.
SU (3-4) held the Tartans (3-5) to a 40 percent shooting effort that included holding them to just 4-of-18 three-point shooting while Carnegie Mellon also sank just 53 percent of its free throw attempts in the game. On the flip side, Susquehanna had a 49 percent field goal percentage, drained better than a third of its three-pointers and shot 72 percent from the free throw line.
J.T. Wilson (Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXII Regional) led the scoring effort for SU with 11 points and Spenser Spencer (Seattle, Wash./Lakeside) added 10 to go along with five rebounds, two assists and one steal. Jake Eskin (Germantown, Md./Churchill) had a solid all-around game with six points, three boards, four assists and three steals.
After trading opening baskets for the early 2-2 score, SU put together a 16-3 run that made it 18-5 after six minutes of action in the game. Six of those points came from Wilson. Freshman Matt McGugan (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) and Spencer also scored treys during the stretch with McGugan’s making it 18-5 with 12:58 on the clock.
After going three minutes without a bucket, Carnegie Mellon’s Joe Kromka hit a free throw for an 18-6 score. Midway through the half, though, the Crusaders were up by 15 (23-8).
The Tartans (3-5) scored four unanswered points to make it an 11-point game and it stood 27-16 at the five-minute mark. That remained the score for the next three minutes before SU closed out the half on a 7-0 run to take a 34-16 lead at halftime.
Susquehanna went up by 20 (41-21) following two Brendan Rezny (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) free throws at the 17:30 mark. With 11:38 to play, Carnegie Mellon’s Christian Manoli drained a three to cut SU’s lead to 16 (50-34).
The Crusaders went back up by 21 before Carnegie Mellon was again able to make it a 16-point game (58-42) with five minutes remaining.
With 4:28 to play, it stood 58-45 in favor of SU. The Tartans pulled no closer, however, and Susquehanna remained ahead 16 (65-49) in the closing minute and went on to the final 66-51 win.
SU takes on the winner of Friday’s second game between PSU-Harrisburg and King’s on Saturday at 3 p.m. in the championship game.
Defense Shuts Down Carnegie Mellon in SU Victory