SCRANTON, Pa. – A strong finish from Scranton was too much for the Susquehanna men's basketball team to overcome as the team suffered a 78-63 Landmark Conference opening loss on Saturday afternoon in Scranton.
Just one player reached double-figures for SU (1-5, 0-1) in the form of 23 points from freshman forward Spencer Ortmyer (York, Pa./Central York). He finished 10-for-15 and also added seven boards, tied for the team high. Brandon Hedley (Silver Spring, Md./Salisbury Prep), in his first collegiate game, finished with nine points and four assists in 32 minutes of action off the bench.
The Crusaders shot a respectable 43.6 percent from the field and sank just under 79 percent of its free throw attempts but the Royals (5-0, 1-0) countered with three players in double figures and a 53 percent showing from the floor.
Susquehanna opened up a four-point lead (11-7) just three minutes into the game on a Mike Perillo (Holmdel, N.J./Holmdel) jumper. A subsequent 7-2 Royals run handed them the 14-13 lead at the 13:43 mark and prompted SU head coach Frank Marcinek to call a timeout.
A Tre Dean (Dallas, Texas/Greenhill School) free throw following the timeout knotted the game at 14-all and Dean's jumper with 12 minutes left in the half kept it tied (19-19). Luke Cable's (York, Pa./West York) three-pointer one minute later put the Crusaders ahead 22-21. Unfortunately, Scranton regained the lead, 25-22, on its two ensuing possessions, part of a 13-4 run that made it 34-26.
At the two-minute mark of the half, the Royals remained ahead by nine (39-30) and as time expired, Susquehanna went into the break down five (41-36) after an Ortmyer three-point play capped off the first-half scoring.
In the second half, back-to-back Ortmyer layups cut that lead to just three points (45-42) and two more Ortmyer jumpers handed a one-point lead back to the Crusaders (48-47) with 13:55 still to play. Another Cable three kept it a tie game at 51-51 with 11:12 on the clock but the Royals went ahead on their next possession and never surrendered that lead.
SU fell into a double-digit deficit (70-59) with just 3:16 left to play and with 60 seconds remaining, trailed 78-61 en route to the final 78-63 score.
SU returns to action on Dec. 3 with an 8 p.m. game at Misericordia.
SU Men Fall in Conference Opener vs. Scranton