WASHINGTON, D.C. – A 12-point lead in the first half was not enough as the Susquehanna men's basketball team fell 83-80 in the Landmark Conference Championship game Saturday night at Catholic.
The Crusaders (23-4) were led by Josh Miller who totaled 32 points and eight rebounds and went 9-9 at the free throw line. Coming into tonight's game, Miller needed 16 points to reach 1,000 career points. He reached this goal on a free throw with 8:06 remaining in the second half.
SU shot 48.1 percent from the field and 47.8 percent from the three-point range while shooting 82.6 percent from the free throw line. The Crusader defense held the Cardinals (21-5) to a shooting percentage of 45 percent from the field and 25 percent from behind the arc.
The Crusaders scored first, and jumped to a five-point lead (7-2) less than two minutes into the game on Miller's three-pointer. The Cardinals came within one (7-6) at the 16:26 mark but Susquehanna proceeded to go on a 9-0 run to go up by 12 (18-6) with 13:56 remaining on the clock.
Catholic whittled the lead to two (32-30) before tying the game at 32 on Bryson Fonville's jumper with 1:55 remaining in the half. The Crusaders dropped behind by two before Miller's jump shot tied the game at 34 with 53 seconds remaining on the clock. Two free throws by Steven Weidlich with 16 seconds remaining gave SU the two point lead (36-34) going into halftime.
Eight seconds into the second half, Weiss increased the Susquehanna lead to four (38-34) with a layup. The Cardinals responded with a 7-0 run that put them ahead 41-38 with 17:20 on the clock. Hedley tied the game at 41 with a three-pointer at the 16:14 mark.
Catholic took a ten point lead (53-43) off of a 12-2 run with 10:43 remaining on the clock. Miller cut the lead to six (56-50) at the 8:06 mark with a pair of free throws – his first free throw put him over the 1,000 point threshold for his career. With two free throws at the 3:51 mark, Weiss cut the lead to four (64-60).
Weidlich made a trey with 57 seconds on the clock and Miller proceeded to sink four threes and three free throws while the team turned to fouls to stop the clock, but it was not enough as the Cardinals held on to win 83-80.
Susquehanna will learn if they have made it to the NCAA Tournament with an at-large bid on Monday, Feb. 29.