Crusaders Rally to Down Mariners in Overtime

Crusaders Rally to Down Mariners in Overtime

SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Trailing by three points with one-tenth of a second remaining, Susquehanna's Steven Weidlich (Watchung, N.J./Watchung Hills) was fouled in three-point range by USMMA's Matthew Miller. The sophomore proceeded to sink all three free throws to send the game to overtime where the Crusaders eventually defeated the Mariners, 78-75.

SU (5-1, 1-1) was down by as many as four points with just 13 seconds remaining but Matt McGugan's (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) layup with four seconds on the clock made it a 69-67 game. Susquehanna was forced to foul but the Mariners (1-5, 0-2) made only one of two free throws. USMMA's ensuing three-point foul allowed Weidlich to tie the game at 70 before the Crusaders went on to prevail in overtime.

McGugan led all scorers with 23 points while also adding eight rebounds, four of the offensive variety. Weidlich finished with 17 points and Danny Weiss (Montville, N.J./Montville Twp.) and Josh Miller (Strasburg, Pa./Lampeter Strasburg) chipped in 12 and 11, respectively, with Miller pulling down a game-high 10 boards.

Susquehanna shot just 21.4 percent in the first half but rebounded to finish the game with a 35 percent effort from the floor.

The game started out decidedly in the Crusaders' favor as they led by seven (9-2) after less than four minutes of play. The Mariners tied it at nine less than two minutes later and from that point the lead swapped sides.

SU regained a four-point lead (20-16) on McGugan's layup with 5:35 on the clock but with 1:45 to play, the teams found themselves tied again (26-26) and USMMA scored four of the final seven points of the half to take a slim, 30-29 edge at halftime.

The Crusaders held the early momentum in the second half. They gained a nine-point advantage (47-38) on Jason's Dietrich's (Maytown, Pa./Kutztown University) jumper with 11:44 remaining. They remained ahead by nine (49-40) following two Dietrich free throws at the 10:31 mark.

However, the Mariners out-scored SU 21-8 over an eight-minute stretch to charge ahead 61-57 with 2:20 to play.

USMMA maintained a four-point lead, 69-65, following two Robbie Kennedy free throws with 13 seconds on the clock. However, McGugan came up with a huge offensive rebound followed by his own put back to bring his squad within just two, 69-67.

Susquehanna subsequently fouled Kennedy, who made just one of his two free throws. The Mariners then made a costly mistake by fouling Weidlich in three-point range. Weidlich was clutch, sinking all three to force overtime.

Susquehanna led from start to finish in that overtime period, aided in part by scoring the first four points of the overtime session. Five different players accounted for SU's eight points in the period as the Crusaders picked up their first Landmark win of the season.

Susquehanna returns to action on Dec. 12-13 at the Monarch Classic, hosted by King's College. SU will face Wilkes on Dec. 12 at 6 p.m., followed by a 1 p.m. game against King's on Dec. 13.