Crusader Men Win Pepsi Tipoff Tournament

Crusader Men Win Pepsi Tipoff Tournament

SELINSGROVE, Pa. – For the first time since 2007, the Susquehanna men's basketball team won its annual Pepsi Tipoff Tournament with a 67-45 victory over King's College. With the win, SU improves to 3-0 on the season.

Steven Weidlich (Watchung, N.J./Watchung Hills) was named Tournament MVP while teammate Brandon Hedley (Silver Spring, Md./Salibury Prep) was named to the All-Tournament Team. Hedley finished with a game-high 14 points against King's to go along with five assists. Weidlich poured in 11 points with nine boards, two assists and two steals.

The team's leading rebounder was Connor Mailen (Taylor, Pa./Riverside) with 10 and SU held a 45-41 edge in total rebounds. The Crusaders also shot better than 32 percent from the floor while limiting the Monarchs to a 24.6 percent effort.

Susquehanna (3-0) surrendered a mere 18 second-half points on 3-of-25 shooting by the Monarchs (3-1). In fact, King's went the first 9:02 of the second half without a field goal.

The lead switched hands for the opening minutes of the game and King's went ahead 14-10 on a Dan Rutecki layup at the 13:42 mark. Mailen tied the game at 16 just one minute later and Jason Dietrich (Maytown, Pa./Kutztown University) kept it a tie game, 20-20, on his layup with 8:14 to play.

King's held a slim, 25-24 lead with roughly four minutes remaining before Matt McGugan's (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) layup handed Susquehanna a 27-25 advantage and it was a lead the team ultimately would not relinquish.

Hedley scored the final points of the half, a jumper with 1:09 on the clock for a 31-27 Crusaders lead at the midway point.

SU's defense limited the Monarchs to just three free throws for the first nine-plus minutes of the half while the Crusaders proceeded to take a 46-40 lead on Hedley's layup with 11:11 to play.

That lead grew to 23 points (61-38) following Hedley's free throw with 5:45 on the clock. The lead never dipped below 22 and after a Phil Madison (Johnstown, Pa./Great Johnstown) trey at the 1:08 mark, the Crusaders led 67-42.

Susquehanna travels to Penn State Harrisburg on Nov. 24 for a 7 p.m. game.

All-Tournament Team
Penn College: #32 Ezra Adams
PSU Worthington Scranton: #5 Hasiin Dixon
King's: #33 Tom Heston, #34 Dan Rutecki
Susquehanna: #0 Brandon Hedley, #24 Steven Weidlich (MVP)