SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Wednesday's game against No. 8 Catholic proved to be a contest of two halves as the Susquehanna men's basketball team fell to the Cardinals 74-53.
The Crusaders (9-13, 5-6) trailed only by four at halftime before being outscored 40-23 in the second period by the nationally-ranked Cardinals (20-2, 10-1).
In that first half, Catholic jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead before freshman Brandon Hedley (Silver Spring, Md. / Salisbury Prep.) buried a three-pointer to tie the game. Wally Rutecki (Springfield, Pa. / Springfield) hit a jumper to increase the SU advantage to three (9-6) at 16:01.
After that lead, however, Catholic went on a 17-2 run with the help of a trio of long-range shots to reclaim the lead, 25-12, with 11:09 left. SU chipped away and found itself behind by only four (29-25) after a three by senior J.T. Wilson (Sparta, N.J. / Pope John XXIII Regional) with a little over five minutes in the half.
Two more Wilson field goals tied the contest at 29 with three minutes remaining but the Cardinals went on a quick spurt to take the lead at intermission 34-30.
The second half was all Catholic as the Cardinals flew out of the locker room on a 14-6 run to lead by 16 points (50-34) with 13:50 to go. A foul shot by senior Harvey Pannell (Bloomfield, Conn. / St. Thomas More) trimmed the deficit to 11 but unfortunately that was the closest the Crusaders would get the rest of the way as Catholic went on to win by 21 (74-53).
For SU, the contest marked head coach Frank Marcinek's 600th game on the sidelines for the Crusaders. Freshman Tre Dean (Dallas, Texas / Greenhill School) tied a career-high with a team-best 12 points and grabbed four boards. Hedley had eight points and four assists while Harley Sellinger (Mill Hall, Pa. / Central Mountain) chipped in with eight points and five rebounds.
Steve Limberiou led all scorers with 29 points, shooting 7-of-10 from downtown. Shawn Holmes netted 20 and Nate Koenig 12 points for Catholic.
The Crusaders take to the road on Saturday for a 4 p.m. game at Moravian.