Men’s Basketball Back in Pepsi Championship Game

Men’s Basketball Back in Pepsi Championship Game

SELINSGROVE, Pa. – For the 15th tournament in a row, the Susquehanna men's basketball squad earned a spot in the championship game of SU's Pepsi Tipoff Tournament with a 99-57 win over Penn State Worthington Scranton on Friday night.

The championship game of the tournament, now in its 26th year, will feature the Crusaders against King's College, which defeated Penn College in Friday's opening game. This marks the fourth year in a row SU will face the Monarchs for the title.

Four players registered double figures for Susquehanna (2-0) with Josh Miller (Strasburg, Pa./Lampeter Strasburg) leading the way with 16, 12 of which came from three-point range. Matt McGugan (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) chipped in 14 points on 4-of-9 shooting while Steven Weidlich (Watchung, N.J./Watchung Hills) picked up 11 points and Jason Dietrich (Maytown, Pa./Kutztown University) came off the bench to score nine of his 12 points from beyond the arc.

Miller also had a team-best eight boards while Weidlich led the squad with five assists.

As a team, SU shot better than 53 percent while holding the Lions to a 29 percent effort. The Crusaders also sank half their three-point attempts and pulled down 49 rebounds to Penn State's 32.

The game was tied 6-6 in the early going before the Lions' Brandon Santana's free throw at the 16:43 mark later put his team up 10-6.

The Crusaders scored the next four points and led 15-14 on a Phil Madison (Johnstown, Pa./Great Johnstown) trey with 12:55 on the clock, ultimately handing the lead to SU for good. Susquehanna proceeded to go on a 29-5 run to grab a 25-point lead (44-19) with 4:26 still to play in the half.

Connor Mailen's (Taylor, Pa./Riverside) layup with seven seconds remaining marked the final points of the period and gave SU a 55-31 halftime lead.

Five minutes into second-half play, a three-pointer from Miller upped the team's lead to 28 (67-39) and less than 10 minutes later, the Crusaders held a 31-point advantage, 80-49, on a three-point play by Ryan Traub (Flanders, N.J./Mt. Olive). Penn State never pulled closer than 32 points over the remaining minutes and Susquehanna came away with the 99-57 victory.