HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Junior guard Brandon Hedley (Silver Spring, Md./Salisbury Prep.) continued his recent hot streak, scoring over 20 points for the fourth time in the last six games as the Susquehanna men's basketball team (11-4, 4-2) earned a 72-61 Landmark Conference win at Juniata (7-8, 1-5).
Hedley led all players with 21 points, including five three-pointers, and also added four assists and four steals. Steven Weidlich (Watchung, N.J./Watchung Hills) broke double figures as well with 16 points and six rebounds as did Josh Miller (Strasburg, Pa./Lampeter Strasburg), who recorded 15 points, six rebounds, three assists and one block.
Matt McGugan (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) had a near double-double with eight points and a game-high ten rebounds, including four on the offensive glass. The Crusaders made 13 of their 26 three-point attempts and limited the Eagles to a 31.8 percent clip from beyond the arc.
After a tight first five minutes, Susquehanna gained a seven-point lead (21-14) on a 9-0 run from two three-pointers by Hedley and one from Miller. SU extended its advantage to double digits at 25-14 from a pair of Miller free throws, but the Eagles used four consecutive points from Marcus Lee and a trey by Damon Rickens to come within four.
Juniata trailed by only two (27-29) with just under six minutes remaining in the first half, but a 9-2 run gave the Crusaders more breathing room as halftime drew closer. After trading baskets, SU's advantage remained at nine points until a jumper by Miller with two seconds remaining gave Susquehanna a 45-34 lead heading into the break.
Hedley picked up where he left off in the second half, draining a trey off an assist by Danny Weiss (Montville, N.J./Montville Twp.), who had four for the game. Although the Crusaders shot only 34.6 percent from the field in the second half, the Eagles were unable to close the gap in the first ten minutes of the second half.
With just over nine minutes in regulation, however, Juniata came alive with a 10-0 run behind eight straight points from Rickens and trailed 61-62 with 6:37 left on the clock.
SU answered with stifling defense and a 10-0 run of its own and as Hedley scored the last four points of the game. Juniata missed its last seven attempts and failed to convert its lone free throw of the last six minutes.
Both teams finished with 31 rebounds and 14 assists, but SU held a slight advantage in turnovers with eight to Juniata's 11 and made the most of it, picking up 20 points off turnovers to its opponent's 7.
The Crusaders continue conference play on Saturday, Jan 17 at 4 p.m. when they host the Drew Rangers in Houts Gymnasium.