SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Four players finished in double figures as Susquehanna men's basketball team defeated non-conference opponent Berkeley (N.J.) 78-64 on Monday night, the Crusaders' first contest since Dec. 21.
Senior center Harley Sellinger (Mill Hall, Pa. / Central Mountain) and sophomore guard Brandon Hedley (Silver Spring, Md. / Salisbury Prep.) each scored 18 points to lead SU. Sellinger shot 10-of-13 from the foul line and grabbed nine rebounds while Hedley distributed six assists.
Freshman Steven Weidlich (Watchung, N.J. / Watchung Hills) recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds and senior Jake Eskin (Germantown, Md. / Churchill) finished the night with a solid all-around effort with 10 points, six boards and six assists.
The Crusaders (7-4) jumped out to a nine-point lead (20-11) with 12:33 remaining in the first half after a layup by junior Matt McGugan (Silver Spring, Md. / Blake) and extended the advantage to 11 points after a pair of free throws by Sellinger with 11:22 left.
But the Knights (8-7) pulled within six after a fastbreak dunk by Dukens Germain with a little less than 10 minutes left in the opening period. The Knights cut the SU lead to four (34-30) with 3:47 remaining before a McGugan jumper and Sellinger foul shot gave the Crusaders a seven point cushion (37-30).
Berkeley trimmed the lead to two (37-35) on a made jumper with 1:02 left and that remained the score going into halftime.
The Knights knotted the contest at 37 in the opening minutes of the second half and would claim their first lead (40-39) at the 17:22 mark. After this point, however, the Crusaders went on a 16-5 run capped off by a three-point play by senior forward Wally Rutecki (Springfield, Pa. / Springfield) as SU went ahead by 10 (55-45) with 10:26 left in the game.
Berkeley cut the Crusader lead to eight (64-56) with less than four minutes to go, but 12 made free throws by SU down the stretch iced the contest. In fact the Crusaders shot 75 percent (30-of-40) from the charity stripe in the game.
The Crusaders are back at home on Wednesday, Jan. 8, hosting Misericordia. SU is offering free admission to the contest in part of Community Appreciation Night.