Crusaders Fall to King’s College at Monarch Classic

Crusaders Fall to King’s College at Monarch Classic

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. - A 30-point performance from senior Matt McGugan (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) was not enough to propel the Susquehanna men's basketball team to its third-straight win. The Crusaders fell 76-66 to King's on Saturday afternoon on the second and final day of the Monarch Classic.

The Monarchs (6-3) led 41-32 at the half and while SU (6-2) pulled within two points (66-64) with less than four minutes to play, King's came through at the free throw line in the closing seconds of the game to fend off Susquehanna's comeback attempt.

McGugan accounted for nearly half of Susquehanna's points and 18 of his 30 points came from three-point range. He also had six rebounds and two steals in his 29 minutes of action and was named to the All-Tournament Team.

Brandon Hedley (Silver Spring, Md./Salisbury Prep) and Josh Miller (Strasburg, Pa./Lampeter Strasburg) had 12 and 11 points, respectively. Steven Weidlich (Watchung, N.J./Watchung Hills) and Jason Dietrich (Maytown, Pa./Kutztown University) each pulled down a game-best eight rebounds.

While SU shot nearly 42 percent from three-point range, King's countered with a 46 percent effort. The Crusaders shot just 57 percent from the free throw line although they went to the line just seven times to the Monarchs' 31 free throw attempts.

McGugan scored the first four points of the game for an early 4-0 SU lead. Miller's three pointer with 16:06 on the clock handed Susquehanna a 9-6 lead and his second trey in a three-minute span made it a five-point game (15-10) with 14:02 remaining in the half.

With the Crusaders leading 18-14 and 12:04 on the clock, King's went on a 7-0 run to pull ahead 21-18 with 9:27 left to play. The Monarchs led by nine (39-30) at the 1:30 mark of the half and went into halftime still maintaining a nine-point lead, 41-32.

King's opened the second half with eight unanswered points to lead 50-32 but by the 12-minute mark of the half, SU made it a nine-point contest (55-46).

With 7:12 on the clock, Weidlich sank two free throws for a 60-55 game and McGugan came through with a huge three at the 4:54 mark that cut what had been an 18-point lead to just two (63-61). Dietrich's three just over a minute later kept it a two-point game, 66-64, and McGugan came through with another clutch three with 44 ticks on the clock that made it 72-67.

However, with under a minute to play, the Crusaders were forced to foul and King's sank five free throws in the final 44 seconds to secure the win.

Susquehanna remains on the road to face Division I opponent Lafayette College on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m.