KING’S POINT, N.Y. –Harley Sellinger (Mill Hall, Pa. / Central Mountain) became the newest member of the 1,000 point club as he helped the Susquehanna men’s basketball team to a 87-77 victory at Merchant Marine on Saturday afternoon. The win, combined with a loss by Catholic at Moravian earlier in the day, SU earned the No. 2 seed in the Landmark Conference Playoffs and will host No. 3 Catholic on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m.
Steven Weidlich (Watchung, N.J. / Watchung Hills) led the way with a career-high 29 points behind 5-of-8 shooting from downtown. Brandon Hedley (Silver Spring, Md. / Salibury Prep) scored 19 points, 15of which came from behind the arc. Sellinger scored eight points and pulled down a team-high 12 boards.
In the first half, the Crusaders (16-9, 8-6 Landmark) went up by seven (13-6) after a three-pointer by Hedley at 15:08. But the Mariners responded with back-to-back treys to pull within one (13-12) only a minute later and held a four-point lead with 11:19 to play.
Matt McGugan (Silver Spring, Md. / Blake) sunk a shot from beyond the arc to give SU the lead once more (18-17) at the halfway point of the opening period. At 7:22, Sellinger made the second of two free throws for his 1,000th point in his career.
The Crusaders then went on a 7-0 spurt thanks in part to a pair of three-pointers by Weidlich, taking a 27-18 lead with 8:18 to go.
A jumper by USMMA (12-14, 6-8 Landmark) cut the Crusader advantage to five (28-23) but Wally Rutecki (Springfield, Pa. / Springfield) and Danny Weiss (Montville, N.J. / Montville Twp.) made consecutive layups as SU jumped to a 12-point lead (37-25) with 1:58 to play. The Mariners cut the lead to seven (39-32) and this score held at intermission.
However, SU went up by 10 after a three by Hedley less than a minute into the second half. Again USMMA trimmed that to six (47-41) but the Crusaders answered with consecutive threes by Weidlich and McGugan to claim a 53-41 lead with less than 15 minutes to play.
The Mariners pulled within five (75-70) with 1:16 to go but Mike Perillo (Holmdel, N.J. / Holmdel), Weidlich and Hedley combined to go 12-for-12 from the foul line to close out the win.