Nov 15, 2016
SELINSGROVE, Pa. – The Susquehanna University men's basketball team clawed its way back from an early 19-point deficit, but dropped its 2016-17 season opener to Misericordia, 120-116, Tuesday night at O.W. Houts Gymnasium. Senior Steven Weidlich posted a career-best 49 points, the third-most in program history, to pace the River Hawks (0-1).
Weidlich's 49 points were the most scored by an SU player since Josh Robinson put up 52 against King's (Pa.) in 2006. Junior Ryan Traub recorded his first career double-double with career-bests of 25 points and 13 boards.
Senior Jason Dietrich chipped in nine boards for the River Hawks, while classmate Dalton Reichard recorded 15 points and sophomore Seth Callahan 10. Rookie Zach Knecht scored eight in his collegiate debut.
Just 5:36 into the action, the Cougars (1-0) took a double-digit lead, 18-7, before powering ahead 35-16 at 9:44. The River Hawks answered with a 20-2 run, pulling within one, 37-36, at the five-minute mark. Misericordia led 51-47 at the half.
SU hit back-to-back buckets to open the second frame and knot the game for the first time, 51-51. Misericordia looked to regain control of the game as it surged to hold a 13-point edge at 10:28, but again the River Hawks rallied. A Traub defensive board led to him draining a three at 4:05, pulling SU within one. He hit a pair from the charity stripe at 2:56 to give Susquehanna its first lead of the contest, 90-89. Four Cougar free throws gave the visitors a 93-90 gap with 32 seconds lingering in the game, but Weidlich tallied one of his eight threes to send the game to extra time.
The lead changed hands seven times in the first OT period alone. Trailing 106-103, Weidlich scored five straight for a two-point advantage, but MU went two-for-two at the line to send the game to double OT, never looking back. Misericordia controlled the final five minutes, as Susquehanna played catch up. A Jacob Walsh layup with 45 seconds remaining in the game pulled the River Hawks within one, 117-116. Three foul shots iced the game for the Cougars.
Misericordia shot a perfect 50 percent from the floor, while Susquehanna made good on 43.3 percent of its attempts. The Cougars held a 56-49 lead in rebounds and 24-20 edge in assists.
Susquehanna returns to the hardwood on Friday hosting Penn St.-Wilkes Barre in the Pepsi Tip-Off Tournament at 8 p.m.