WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – The Susquehanna men's basketball team ended 2014 with an 85-75 win over Lycoming in the Basinger Memorial Tournament championship game.
SU (8-5) held off a late Warriors rally to come away with the team's second straight victory. Junior guard Brandon Hedley (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) poured in 24 points en route to earning Tournament MVP honors.
Three other players joined Hedley in double figures on Tuesday evening. Josh Miller (Strasburg, Pa./Lampeter Strasburg) and Steven Weidlich (Watchung, N.J./Watchung Hills) each added 14 points while Matt McGugan (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) finished with 11. Miller also tied for the team lead in rebounds with six while Weidlich led all players with seven assists.
One key in the Crusaders' win was a 90 percent showing (27-for-30) at the free throw line to go along with a 40 percent effort (10-for-25) from beyond the arc.
Miller put SU on the board with a jumper less than 50 seconds into the game and the Crusaders never looked back – although the Warriors would go on to make a run late in the game.
By the 14:44 mark of the opening half, SU led by six (14-8) and McGugan's three with 10:07 to play handed Susquehanna its first double-digit lead, 26-14. A Weidlich jumper at the six-minute mark made it 36-22 and Evan Austin's (Knoxville, Md./St. John's Catholic Prep) three with 2:56 to play marked the final points of the period as Susquehanna went into halftime leading 41-29.
Hedley opened the second half scoring with a three for a 44-29 Crusader lead. The junior drained another trey at the 18:10 mark to make it a 16-point contest (47-31).
A three-point play from Hedley with 16:25 remaining gave Susquehanna its first 20-plus point lead (54-33). Ryan Traub's (Flanders, N.J./Mt. Olive) layup with 6:17 on the clock helped SU maintain a 19-point advantage (71-52).
That lead quickly shrunk to just 11, 71-60, after just over 60 seconds of action. Two Malcolm Covington free throws at the four-minute mark made it a 73-63 game and Covington's layup 90 seconds later brought the Warriors (6-5) within just eight points of the lead, 75-67.
Lycoming's Alex Newbold then made one of two free throws with 1:40 to play that cut the Crusaders' lead to seven, 75-68.
Two Miller free throws with 46 seconds remaining put SU back ahead by eight, 79-71, but Chris Wallace connected on two free throws and a Newbold layup at the 31-second mark suddenly trimmed the Crusaders' lead to just four (79-75).
With time winding down, though, Lycoming was forced to foul and the Crusaders sank six free throws over the final 19 seconds to finally put the game away.
Susquehanna travels to Landmark Conference opponent Moravian on Jan. 3 for a 4 p.m. tip.