Strong Defense Helps Susquehanna Win Third Straight

Ryan Traub scored 19 points in the win over Catholic.
Ryan Traub scored 19 points in the win over Catholic.

The Susquehanna University Men's Basketball team limited Catholic University to just 26.5 percent shooting in the second half and just 25 points as the River Hawks pulled away and posted an 88-64 victory Wednesday night in a Landmark Conference matchup in O.W. Houts Gymnasium in Selinsgrove.

Susquehanna (19-3 overall, 9-2 Landmark), ranked No. 19 in the latest D3hoops.com Top-25 poll, and Catholic (15-7, 7-4) played even for the first three quarters of the first half but in the final four minutes of the period, the River Hawks used a 14-4 run to open up a 13-point lead at the intermission.

"Our defense was good in the second half," said head coach Frank Marcinek. "Neither team could stop each other early on but it turned into a defensive battle in the second half. We just pushed the ball inside in the second half and it paid off when we were able to score and draw fouls in the paint."

In the second half, the Cardinals did not score for the first four and a half minutes as Susquehanna pulled ahead by 22 points. The River Hawks used a 22-6 points in the paint advantage in the second half to maintain the big lead.

Ryan Traub scored 10 of his 19 points in the first half as he finished the night with .667 shooting connecting on 8-of-12 from the field. Steven Weidlich finished with a game high 25 and Catholic did not have a single player score more than nine points.

Seth Callahan added 10 points off the bench and Dalton Reichard grabbed a team-best seven rebounds and also had five assists. Weidlich led the River Hawks with six assists in the game.

"We are in the stretch run," said Marcinek. "We had Catholic and Scranton in a stretch of three games so this is a big win for us."

Susquehanna and Scranton remain tied at the top of the Landmark standings and Catholic is just a win away from clinching a playoff berth. Moravian at 8-3 needs one more win or a Drew loss to clinch a spot in the Landmark Tournament. The two teams face each other next Wednesday at Drew.