SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Five players in double figures, 24 steals and a 53 percent shooting effort all added up to an easy 104-50 win for the Susquehanna men's basketball team over visiting Penn College on the opening night of the annual Pepsi Tip-Off Tournament.
The Crusaders (1-0) reached the 100-point mark for the first time since a 100-73 win at John Jay in 2010. SU will now face King's College in Saturday's championship game at 3 p.m. The Monarchs (1-0) defeated Montclair State (0-1) 61-52 in the opening game of the tournament. The Red Hawks and Wildcats (0-2) will square off in the consolation game at 1 p.m.
Senior J.T. Wilson (Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII Regional) led all players with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting; 15 of those 17 points came from three-point range. Erik Shirvanian (Holmdel, N.J./St. Thomas More) broke out for 13 points off the bench while freshmen Tre Dean (Dallas, Texas/Greenhill School), Luke Cable (York, Pa./West York) and Mark Kukoda (Spotswood, N.J./St. Rose) added 12, 12 and 11 points, respectively. Kukoda fell one steal shy of tying the SU single-game record of seven as he accounted for 25 percent of his squad's 24 steals.
SU had only 35 boards to Penn College's 43 but was led by seven from Tony Seldon (Bloomfield, Conn./Northwest Catholic).
Not only did Susquehanna put 54 points on the board in the first half, the team also finished with an impressive 16 steals with nine players picking up at least one steal apiece over those first 20 minutes.
The game started out closely with the Crusaders only holding a one-point lead, 10-9, six minutes into the action. However, it was all Susquehanna after that point. SU opened up its first double-digit lead of the game, 21-10, on a Wilson trey at the 8:51 mark.
The Wildcats went seven minutes without scoring a point while the Crusaders built their lead to 34 (46-12) with under two minutes remaining in the period. A flurry of points by SU to end the half put the team ahead 54-15 at the midway point of the game.
Penn College was able to score 35 points in the second half but the Crusaders put 50 of their own on the board and surpassed the 100-point plateau on a Spencer Ortmeyer (York, Pa./Central York) layup with 2:35 on the clock. Susquehanna scored six of the final nine points of the game.
SU Hits Century Mark in Season-Opening Victory