SELINSGROVE, Pa. – The Susquehanna men’s basketball team could not withstand a late rally by Penn State Harrisburg and fell 72-67 on Tuesday night in the team’s final game before opening Landmark Conference play on Saturday.
SU (1-4) could not overcome five Nittany Lions players in double figures despite a combined 27 points from freshmen Spencer Ortmyer (York, Pa./Central York) and Josh Miller (Strasburg, Pa./Lampeter Strasburg), who had 14 and 13 points, respectively. Ortmyer also pulled down eight boards as the Crusaders out-rebounded Penn State (2-2) by a 34-27 margin.
While Susquehanna shot a more than respectable 46 percent from the floor, the Nittany Lions countered with a 49 percent showing, including sinking over 54 percent of its three-pointers (6-of-11) and nearly 86 percent of its free throws (18-of-21).
The first half went back and forth for the entire 20 minutes of action with neither team holding more than a four-point lead at any time. SU took a 12-9 edge four minutes into the half on a Luke Cable (York, Pa./West York) three but just two minutes later, it was PSU-Harrisburg that held a three-point lead (17-14) after two Julius Brown free throws.
A J.T. Wilson (Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII Regional) three-pointer at the 11:06 mark tied it at 19-all but seven minutes later with just 4:02 to play, it remained a tie game at 24-24. Fortunately Susquehanna was able to regain the lead on its next possession, a Miller free throw, and never again trailed in the half as an Ortmyer dunk with four seconds on the clock made it 32-30 to end the half.
SU remained in the lead until 12:14 remained in the game when Jordan Gatchell’s layup made it 46-45. That Penn State lead lasted only possession, though. A subsequent 6-0 Susquehanna run, highlighted by a Tony Seldon (Bloomfield Conn./Northwest Catholic) dunk, made it 51-46 in favor of the Crusaders with 10:34 left.
With five minutes on the clock, Susquehanna maintained a five-point advantage (60-55) until an 8-0 Nittany Lions run put them back in the lead (63-60) with just 2:32 on the clock. That Penn State lead lasted until the end of game as the Nittany Lions narrowly out-scored SU 9-7 over the remaining two minutes of action.
The Crusaders kickoff December by opening Landmark Conference play on Dec. 1 with a 4 p.m. game at Scranton.
SU Falls Late to PSU-Harrisburg