Sarris-Grau pours in career-high 27

Louis Sarris-Grau 2012 David Sinclair/McDaniel College

WESTMINSTER, Md. – McDaniel used a 19-2 run to turn an early 5-2 deficit into a 21-7 lead midway through the opening half and staved off a furious Johns Hopkins rally in the second half for a 71-66 Centennial Conference (CC) men's basketball victory on Monday.

Louis Sarris-Grau (Huntingdon Valley, Pa./Lower Moreland) poured in a career-best 27 points, hitting 12 of his 19 attempts from the floor for the Green Terror (6-11, 3-7 CC), who saw its lead dwindle to two late in the second half before hitting three free throws late to secure the win.

Alex Pandrangi paced three players in the double figures for the Blue Jays (10-7, 6-4 CC) with 20 points on a perfect 8-for-8 shooting while Mike Rhoads added 16 points and Adam Spengler chipped in 10.

Evan Pupelis (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset) hit short shots around a George Bugarinovic jumper to make it a 5-4 game with 18:24 to play in the first half.

Pupelis then completed the ensuing three-point play on the second shot for a tie game, sparking the 19-2 outburst.

Sarris-Grau added a layup and Tyler Rudd (Glen Burnie, Md./Glen Burnie) hit a 3-pointer to stretch the lead to 10-5 and McDaniel never trailed.

Aleksander Nikolic responded with a jumper before Pupelis hit another layup to ignite a run of 11 straight points that opened up a 14-point edge with 10:27 remaining in the first half.

The Green Terror hit six of its first seven shots en route to an 18-for-31 first-half showing and 51.9-percent shooting night for the game.

Back-to-back triples from Andrew Merlo (Rehoboth, Del./Cape Henlopen) and Cullen Murray-Kemp (Trappe, Md./Easton) stratched the lead to 40-22 with 1:04 to play in the opening half.

Spengler responded with a layup but Murray-Kemp canned a triple in the corner with 2.8 seconds on the clock for a 43-24 halftime advantage.

Behind consecutive 3-pointers from Rhoads, the Blue Jays scored the first 12 points of the second half to close the deficit to seven.

Sarris-Grau responded with a second-chance layup with 16:18 to play, sparking a 9-0 counter that pushed the lead back up to 16 with 12:33 to play.

A John Mysliwiec jumper and two Woody Butler (Smithsburg, Md./Middletown) free throws kept it a 16-point game with 11:59 showing before Johns Hopkins started whittling away at the lead.

Pandrangi hit the second of two free throws, making it a 58-52 game with 6:00 to play before Sarris-Grau canned a trey on the Green Terror's next possession.

Spengler responded with a 3-pointer of his own but Sarris-Grau once again had the answer, hitting a layup.

A Rhoads pull-up 3-pointer closed the deficit to 65-62 with 2:20 to play.

Sarris-Grau hit one free throw before Pandrangi hit a layup to make it a two-point game with 1:35 remaining.

Sarris-Grau pushed the lead back to four but Pandrangi hit a jumper with 17.5 seconds on the clock to once again make it a two-point game.

After a pair off missed free throws, Johns Hopkins missed a layup on the break before Sarris-Grau hit one free throw and Macrone sank a pair in the final eight seconds to seal the win.

Sarris-Grau added four rebounds and three assists. Pupelis finished with nine points and six rebounds while Macrone and Murray-Kemp had eight points each. James Cranwell (Brick, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven Regional) added five points, four assists and three rebounds.

McDaniel returns to action at Swarthmore on Wednesday. Game time is 8 p.m.

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Louis Sarris-Grau and Kevin Curley talk with Tim Murray and Adam Pohl about the big win on the postgame show.

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