Dominant First Half Leads Crusaders to Victory

Dominant First Half Leads Crusaders to Victory

MADISON, N.J. – The Susquehanna men's basketball team marched to a double-digit lead in the first half which resulted in a 79-67 victory over Landmark Conference rival Drew.

The Crusaders (17-6, 10-4) sweep the season series with the Rangers (11-13, 6-9) and remain in third place in the Landmark Conference standings. The win marks the second straight season SU will take the home and home series with the Rangers. In addition, the Crusaders are now 8-2 in their last 10 games.

SU's balanced attack was paced by four different players with double-digit scoring performances. Junior guard Josh Miller (Strasburg, Pa. / Lampeter Strasburg) led the way with 17 points. The Crusaders shot an impressive 43.5 percent from behind the arch and 9-of-13 from the free-throw line.  Drew could not handle SU on the glass, as the Rangers were out-rebounded 39-28 in the game.
 
A key difference in the outcome was the Crusader's ability to share the ball which led to a team total of 15 assists.  Sophomore Steven Weidlich (Watchung, N.J. / Watchung Hills) paced SU's unselfish play with seven assists on the day.

The first four minutes of action was a back-and-forth affair that resulted in three lead changes. The Crusaders took control of the game with a 10-0 run that was capped off with a Weidlich layup with 14:59 remaining in the half.

A Brandon Hedley (Silver Spring, Md. / Salisbury Prep) three-pointer extended SU's advantage to 26-13 just beyond the half way mark of the first period. During the remaining nine minutes of the half, the Rangers did their best to keep it to a single-digit margin. However, a 7-0 run just before intermission gave the Crusaders a 43-28 lead.

Coach Marcinek's half-time speech sparked the Crusaders to yet another 5-0 run to start the second half. Miller's deep three pointer just 1:30 into the second half outstretched the visiting Crusader's lead to twenty points.

Drew managed to cut the lead to ten points with a Kevin Herring three at the 11-minute mark. However, the Crusaders offensive continued to be too potent for the Rangers to handle.

Miller's two three-pointers inside the 10-minute mark stalled any chance of Drew's comeback attempt.

The Crusaders put their three-game unbeaten streak on the line at home against Goucher this Wednesday at 7 p.m.