Steven Weidlich scored 23 points and Ryan Traubadded 20 as the Susquehanna Men's Basketball team broke open a close game in the second half to defeat Elizabethtown 82-69 in the regular season finale at Elizabethtown.
The win put the River Hawks (21-4 overall, 11-3 Landmark) into a three-way tie for first place in the final conference standings sharing the regular-season title with Scranton and Moravian. Due to tie-breaker procedures, Scranton earns the top seed in the Landmark Tournament that begins Wednesday. Moravian is the No. 2 seed and will host Susquehanna at 7 p.m. Wednesday in a semifinal matchup. Scranton will host Catholic. Wednesday's winners will face off in the Landmark championship game Saturday at the highest remaining seed.
"We expect a tough game Wednesday at Moravian but we are a tough team and we will be ready," saidhead coach Frank Marcinek.
Against Elizabethtown (5-19, 2-12), the River Hawks jumped out to an early lead with a 20-7 advantage early in the game. The Blue Jays battled back and closed the gap to a single basket at 32-30 at the halftime intermission.
In the second half, Elizabethtown took a lead for a short time but Weidlich sparked a 9-3 run as Susquehanna regained control. Weidlichhit a jumper, Jason Dietrich nailed a 3-pointer followed by baskets from Trauband Dalton Reichard.
Freshman Zachery Knecht came off the bench to hit several key baskets down the stretch to help Susquehanna build a double-digit lead and cruise to the victory.
"Zach (Knecht) gave us a big lift today," said Marcinek of the freshman that finished with a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. One of the keys to our success has been the production from the bench and we got that today."
Knecht agreed. "We know our role off the bench and we look to take advantage of our opportunities when we get out there. We are just waiting for our chance and try to take advantage of our chances."
Weidlichfinished with 23 points, Traub had 20, Reichardadded 11 and Knecht had 10 for the River Hawks. Knecht's 12 rebounds led the team and Weidlich added seven assists.