SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Down 70-67 to No. 16 Babson with four seconds to play, Susquehanna junior captain Steven Weidlich had the last look to send the game to overtime but his three fell short and SU's historic season came to an end.
The 16th-ranked Crusaders (24-5) set a program record in wins with 24 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1993-94. They were ranked for the majority of the season and advanced to the Landmark Conference title game for the second time in three years.
Saturday's game was a back-and-forth battle with neither squad holding more than an 11-point lead at any time during the game.
Senior captain Josh Miller ended his collegiate career with a 22-point and seven-rebound performance. He also added a game-high four blocks. Classmate Brandon Hedley added 10 points, four rebounds and three assists. Steven Weidlich and Dan Weiss joined them in double figures with 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Susquehanna shot 44 percent for the game and held Babson (23-5) to a 22.7 percent effort from three-point range. The Beavers had 38 boards, 12 of which were offensive, and committed just seven turnovers.
Weiss accounted for SU's first eight points of the night with his two free throws at the 15:41 mark pulling the Crusaders within two (10-8). Hedley's jumper less than 30 seconds later tied the game at 10 and Miller gave Susquehanna a 12-10 lead with 14:12 to play in the half.
The game was tied at 19 with 9:07 to play before Babson went on a 13-4 run to grab a 32-23 advantage. The Beavers' Isaiah Nelsen drained a last-second three for a 35-29 score at halftime.
Babson took the only double-digit lead of the night, 47-36, at the 15:55 mark before Weidlich tied it at 47 on a three with 13:39 remaining.
Both teams again saw shares of the lead for the next several minutes with the Beavers leading 66-65 with 1:41 to play. Nelsen's layup made it 68-65 before two Weidlich free throws again trimmed the lead to just one (68-67) with six seconds on the clock.
The Crusaders fouled Nick Comenale who sank both free throws for a 70-67 game and Weidlich's three did not fall, ending the game in favor of Babson.
Postgame Press Conference:
Head coach Frank Marcinek reflecting on the season: "There was an unbelievable amount of trust and the reason we had so much trust is because they are such good people. No one wanted to do anything to let one another down. No regrets. We did everything we could have."
Junior captain Steven Weidlich reflecting on the season: "By far the most together team I've ever played on. It was an incredible year and we're going to look back on it an all the great memories, on all the wins and breaking school records."