Murray-Kemp, Pupelis combine for 19
ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. – Phil Wenger hit a driving layup with 5.7 seconds left to give Elizabethtown a 52-50 non-conference men's basketball victory over McDaniel on Sunday.
Wenger paced the Blue Jays (3-7) with 14 points while Andrew Mantz added 13.
Trailing 4-0 early on, Murray-Kemp hit a pair of free throws with 18:05 on the clock and Louis Sarris-Grau (Huntingdon Valley, Pa./Lower Moreland) converted a jumper in the lane on the next possession to tie the game at 4-all.
Mantz countered with a layup to put the hosts back on top by two before a single Kyle McConnell free throw pushed the lead back to three at the 15:14 mark.
Tyler Rudd (Glen Burnie, Md./Glen Burnie) trimmed the deficit to one, hitting a pair of free throws with 13:02 showing and a Phillip Perry (Crownsville, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) steal-and-layup gave the Green Terror its first lead with 11:43 remaining.
Five straight Blue Jays points turned the one-point deficit into a 14-10 lead and forced a McDaniel timeout with 9:32 on the clock.
The hosts stretched the lead to as many as six with a Will Schlosser 3-pointer to make it a 19-13 game with 6:23 to play.
Five straight points from Murray-Kemp in a 25-second span turned a 20-16 deficit into a 21-20 advantage with 4:27 remaining.
Wenger put the hosts back on top by one before Mitch Belella (Smitshburg, Md./St. Maria Goretti) canned two free throws with 1:22 remaining to make it a 23-22 game but Schlosser had the final say of the half, connecting from short range to give Elizabethtown a 24-23 edge at the break.
Four straight Pupelis points in the first 1:39 of the second half turned a one-point halftime deficit into a 27-24 McDaniel lead.
Perry converted a steal and layup but missed the ensuing free throw to keep it a 29-24 game with 17:36 to play.
Two Wenger free throws closed the deficit to 30-28 but four straight James Cranwell (Brick, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven Regional) keyed a 7-0 run that pushed the lead out to 37-28 with 12:12 to play.
A Mantz three-point play snapped a 5-minute, 7-second scoring drought before Wenger closed the gap to four with 10:01 on the clock.
After Joe Schwalm trimmed the margin to two, Sarris-Grau snapped a drought of 3:41 with a floater in the lane to push the lead back to four.
Schwalm converted a three-point play to pull Elizabethtown within 43-42 with 4:51 remaining.
Mantz capped a 5-0 burst with a layup at the 3:59 mark that put Elizabethtown on top for the first time in the second half, 44-43.
Andrew Merlo (Rehoboth, Del./Cape Henlopen) countered, driving the lane to reestablish a one-point advantage for McDaniel.
However, a Dan Silver layup and two Schwalm gave the Blue Jays a 48-45 lead with 2:09 to play.
Out of a Green Terror timeout, Merlo canned a triple to knot the game with 1:51 to play.
Wenger and Pupelis traded layups in the final minute to set up the game-winning possession.
Marcus Dyson (Scotch Plains, N.J./Union Catholic) had a look at a game-winning 3-pointer from the left wing but the shot hit off the back iron as the clock expired.
Perry finished with six points and four steals for McDaniel.
The Green Terror returns to action at against Worcester State in the first round of the Captains Shootout hosted by Christopher Newport on Thursday, Dec. 29. Game time is 5:30 p.m.