Senior Ryan Traub scored a career-high 33 points including 20 in the first half for the Susquehanna University Men's Basketball team but a scrappy King's College team pushed the River Hawks hard for the entire game and took a 93-89 victory in the first round of the Susquehanna Trailways Tipoff Tournament Friday night in Selinsgrove.
Earlier Friday, Albright defeated Rowan 85-63 so Albright and King's will play in the championship game at 3 p.m. while Susquehanna will face Rowan in the 1 p.m. consolation game Saturday.
Traub was nearly unstoppable Friday as he connected on his first 10 shots from the field including three 3-point shots and was also perfect from the line with his first six attempts as he poured in 29 points and did not miss a shot until the 11:27 mark of the second half when he had a short jumper rim out.
The senior finished with 33 points to eclipse his previous career-high of 26 points late last season against Moravian. On Friday, he also grabbed six rebounds, handed out three assists while adding a block and a steal.
"We simply did not play well tonight," said Head Coach Frank Marcinek. "It will be a good judge of our character to see if we can rebound from tonight and come to play at 1 p.m. Saturday."
Susquehanna (1-1) fell behind early as King's (1-0) scored the first five points of the game. After the teams played back-and-forth before King's connected on a 3-pointer at the 9:42 mark to regain its five point advantage.
Ryan Callahan answered with a pair of 3-pointers followed by a Traub 3-pointer over the next minute and Susquehanna grabbed a 27-23 lead.
The Monarchs went on a late run to go ahead 38-33. After trading baskets, Traub connected on a layup and the stole a pass and was fouled before hitting both free throws to bring the River Hawks to within a point at 40-39. Traub finished the half with a pair a baskets in the paint and the teams went into the halftime break tied at 46-46.
Adam Dizbon scored the first points of the second half but Kings answered with an 8-0 run to take a six-point lead and held the lead for the remainder of the game.
The Monarchs took its largest lead of the game at 79-70 with 6:31 left and still had the nine-point cushion with 2:44 left on the clock. The River Hawks trimmed the lead down to four points three times down the stretch including a final basket by Tyler Hoagland for the final margin of victory at 93-89.
Traub finished the night 12-for-14 from the field, 3-for-3 from 3-point range and 6-for-8 from the line for his 33 points. Seth Callahan added 18 points while freshmen Matt LaCorte and Bryce Butler scored seven points each. Traub and Butler had six rebounds each and Hoagland finished with seven assists.