Men’s Basketball Makes History on Way to Championship

Men’s Basketball Makes History on Way to Championship

SELINSGROVE, Pa. – The 16th-ranked Susquehanna men's basketball made history in its Landmark Conference semifinal win over visiting Scranton. Not only did SU advance to the conference title game for the second time in three years, but the Crusaders also set a program record in single-season wins with their 23rd victory on Wednesday night.

The No. 2 seed Crusaders will travel to No. 1 seed Catholic on Saturday, Feb. 27 for the Landmark Conference title game. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. A fan bus will be offered if a minimum of 20 people register; registration will be at the information desk in Degenstein Campus Center.

Susquehanna (23-3) surpassed the previous record of 22-8, set by the 1985-86 team that advanced to the NCAA Elite 8.

A fast start allowed SU to fend off a gritty Scranton team, which out-scored Susquehanna 47-36 over the final half. Fortunately, the Crusaders led 41-25 at halftime and at one point led by 21 in the opening half to provide enough cushion to hold off the Royals.

Josh Miller had a team-high 21 points and a game-high 15 boards. Brandon Hedley added 13 points while Steven Weidlich chipped in 11 points and seven rebounds.

The Crusaders shot 28 percent from three-point range but countered that with a 44 percent effort from the floor. SU also out-rebounded the Royals (19-7) by a 41-30 margin.

The night could not have started out much better for Susquehanna as the team jumped out to a 9-0 lead less than three minutes into the action. That lead grew to 12 (14-2) two minutes later and it remained a double-digit lead for the remainder of the half.

Miller's three at the 11:13 mark put his team up 25-4 and Dan Weiss's layup with 3:13 remaining gave Susquehanna a game-high 22-point advantage (39-17). Scranton scored the final four points of the half but still trailed 41-25 at halftime.

Scranton opened the second half by scoring 13 of the first 18 points of the game, trimming the lead to eight (46-38) a mere 3:20 into the period.

Tyler Hoagland
was able to push the lead to 11 (53-42) with a layup at the 14-minute mark but Scranton kept chipping away. Two Brendan Boken free throws made it 57-50 with 11:44 remaining and a Chris McCullough trey with 4:36 on the clock closed the gap to three (61-58).

Weidlich's jumper briefly put Susquehanna back up by five, 63-58, but it became a two-point game (63-61) on Boken's layup at the 3:10 mark.

Hoagland countered with a three for a 66-61 lead with just under three minutes to play and the Crusaders led 75-68 with 39 seconds remaining. The Royals' Kevin Doolan came through with a layup at the 14-second mark for a 75-70 game, but two Hedley free throws with 10 seconds to play clinched the 77-72 victory.