SELINSGROVE, Pa. – A strong second half gave the No. 18 Susquehanna men's basketball enough to overcome a trailing first half to defeat Elizabethtown 86-70 at home Thursday night.
This is win number 21 for the Crusaders as they pull within one of tying the all-time record of 22 wins set by the 1985-86 team which finished 22-8 and made the program's only run to the Elite Eight.
Steven Weidlich led all players with a career-high 33 points, 18 of which were from the three-point range. His nine threes were one away from the single-game record that teammate Brandon Hedley set on February 21st of last year against Elizabethtown.
Josh Miller had a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds while Hedley totaled 11 points and four assists. Tyler Hoagland contributed seven boards and six assists off the bench in 27 minutes of play.
SU shot 50 percent from the field and 48.5 percent from the three-point range and held Elizabethtown to 47.5 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc.
The Crusaders (21-3, 12-3) were down 3-0 early in the first half before a Weiss layup followed by Weidlich three-pointer put SU ahead (5-3) at the 17:42 mark. Both teams traded baskets until the Blue Jays (3-19, 1-13) took their biggest lead of the night at five (17-12) with 14:00 remaining in the half.
An Adam Dizbon trey gave Susquehanna the lead (23-21) at the 10:24 mark but Elizabethtown proceeded to go on a 15-4 run that put the Blue Jays ahead 36-27 with 3:38 on the clock. The Crusaders answered with a 6-0 run to pull within three (36-33) with just over a minute remaining in the half but it was not enough as the Blue Jays took four point lead (38-34) into the locker room at the half.
Elizabethtown increased its lead to six (40-34) right out of the gate in the second half but the Crusaders cut that lead in half on a Weidlich three-pointer (40-37) with 19:21 on the clock. A layup from Weidlich at the 15:47 mark gave SU its first lead of the second half (48-47) and the team led from that point on.
A 17-6 run gave Susquehanna its first double-digit lead – 12 points – of the night (65-53) with 12:08 left to play. A minute later, Elizabethtown came within eight (65-57) but it was the closest the Blue Jays got for the remainder of the night as the Crusaders out-scored the Blue Jays 21-13 to win by 16 (86-70).
Susquehanna returns to action when the team travels to Elizabethtown on Saturday Feb. 20 for the last remaining regular season game.