Ryan Traub scored on three consecutive possessions and Jason Dietrich nailed all six of his free throws in the closing minutes of the game as the Susquehanna University men's basketball team erased a late deficit with a 13-2 run in the last five minutes of the game to post an 81-75 win over Drew in a Landmark Conference game Saturday in Madison, New Jersey.
Susquehanna (15-2 overall, 5-1 Landmark), ranked No. 14 in the latest D3hoops.com Top-25 poll, trailed by five points at 65-60 with five minutes left in the contest.
Steven Weidlich sparked the key run in the game with a 3-pointer from the corner and after Danny Weiss hit a driving layup, Traub scored the next three baskets for the River Hawks as the team rattled off nine straight points and an 11-2 stretch in the span of two and a half minutes to take a 71-67 lead.
Dietrich hit both free throws with 1:47 on the clock for a 73-67 lead and capping a 13-2 run.
Traub hit a free throws at 1:23 and Dietrich connected on another four free throws in the final minute as Susquehanna held off a late charge from Drew (9-8, 3-3).
"I noticed the other team was looking to foul me (late in the game) a couple games ago," said Dietrich who had been struggling from the free throw line. "I started working after practice the last several days on the free throws and I was able to hit them today."
"We didn't shoot the ball well," said head coach Frank Marcinek, who officially posted his 399th career victory. "We didn't shoot great but we found a way to win anyway. I had confidence in Jason (Dietrich). I know he was struggling but he's been working hard and was the last one out of the gym last night working on it."
Marcinek entered the season with 385 wins but one win from 2013 over Sacred Heart from Puerto Rico did not count according to the NCAA in his official win total so according to the NCAA, he had 384 coming into 2016-17.
The River Hawks started slow and trailed 11-0 to start the game.
"That's obviously not the way we wanted to start," said Marcinek. "I would rather have that run against us in the first few minutes than at the end of the game. I called a time out because that's what coaches are supposed to do but I knew we were OK. We had solid senior leadership that has shown poise all year."
Weidlich led the River Hawks with 21 points and Traub finished with a double-double with 20 points and a team-best 12 rebounds. Dietrich had 12 points and Dalton Reichard chipped in 10.
The River Hawks continue their stretch of four straight road games Wednesday at Catholic with a 7 p.m. game.