The Susquehanna University men's basketball team, ranked No. 11 in the latest D3hoops.com Top-25 poll, used a pair of double-digit runs in the first half to build an early lead as the River Hawks cruised to a 73-61 victory over Elizabethtown Saturday afternoon in a Landmark Conference game in O.W. Houts Gymnasium in Selinsgrove.
Steven Weidlich nailed a 3-pointer five minutes into the game to give Susquehanna (13-2 overall, 3-1 Landmark) a two-point lead. Another Weidlich 3-pointer less than two minutes later sparked a 13-2 run as the River Hawks opened up their first double-digit lead at 30-17 with 8:52 left in the opening half.
Elizabethtown (3-11, 0-4) battled back cutting the lead to six points with less than seven minutes remaining but Jason Dietrich connected on a pair of 3-pointers leading the River Hawks on a 13-4 run to take a 43-31 lead into the halftime intermission.
"We were a little sloppy today," said head coach Frank Marcinek. "Neither team made a lot of stops in the first half but we were able to open it up late in the half with that run in the last seven minutes or so."
Weidlich scored 18 of his 20 points in the first half to give the River Hawks the early advantage.
"He came out like a ball of fire," said Marcinek. "That was good because we needed it. After that is was pretty balanced and a few different players started to score for us."
In the second half, Susquehanna maintained the double-digit lead for nearly the entire 20 minutes but could not pull away as the Blue Jays stayed within 15 points for the entire second half.
Weidlich led the team with his 20 points while Dalton Reichard chipped in 12 points and Ryan Traub and Danny Weiss added 10 points each. Dietrich scored eight and grabbed a team-leading six rebounds while Tyler Hoagland handed out five assists and Weiss added three steals.
The home win capped a midseason home stand as the River Hawks play the next four games on the road starting Wednesday at Juniata.