Late surge carries Green Terror past 10th-ranked Diplomats
WESTMINSTER, Md. - Louis Sarris-Grau (Huntingdon Valley, Pa./Lower Moreland) recorded a season-high 17 points, including five in the final 2:37, to go with 11 rebounds and lead McDaniel to a 60-51 victory over No. 10 Franklin & Marshall in Centennial Conference (CC) men's basketball action on Saturday.
After falling behind 49-48, the Green Terror (4-2, 2-0 CC) scored 12 of the game's final 14 points for the program's first-ever victory over a top-10 team and improve to 5-3 in its last eight games against ranked opponents.
James McNally and Anthony Brooks tallied 15 points apiece for the Diplomats (5-2, 1-1 CC), who fell for the fourth straight season at McDaniel.
Trailing for the first time since 21-18 with 6:36 to play in the first half on a McNally tip-in of his own miss, Joseph Potucek (Germantown, Md./St. Johns at Prospect Hall) hit a layup off one of Miguel Jones' (Baltimore, Md./North County) career-high six assists to put the Green Terror back in front.
A Sarris-Grau layup on a Jones outlet stretched the lead to three before Jones hit a fall-away 15-footer just before the shot clock expired to cap a run of six straight points with 1:38 on the clock.
Brandon Backford, who finished with eight points, trimmed the deficit to 54-51 with 1:09 on the clock but Sarris-Grau converted a three-point play with 35 seconds left and McDaniel hit three of four from the line to seal the win.
In a first half that featured eight ties and six lead changes, neither team led by more than three until back-to-back treys from Jones and Michael Jarboe (Monrovia, Md./Urbana) gave the hosts a 24-21 lead with 4:23 showing.
Justin Driver cut the lead to one 51 seconds later but Potucek and Sarris-Grau pushed the lead out to 28-23 with 2:42 on the clock en route to a 28-25 halftime advantage.
McNally trimmed the deficit to 28-27 before Jarboe hit a 3-pointer and Potucek converted from short range as the early part of a 14-6 stretch that gave McDaniel a 42-33 lead with 12:43 to play.
Marcus Dyson (Scotch Plains, N.J./Union Catholic), who contributed a career-high 13 points, converted a three-point play to cap the run.
The Diplomats, behind five straight points from Brooks, tallied 10 of the game's next 12 points to close the deficit to one with 9:10 to play before taking the lead nearly five minutes later.
Jarboe finished with 15 points.
The Green Terror returns to action at home against Lebanon Valley on Dec. 15. Game time is 7 p.m.