Pupelis scores career-high 17

Evan Pupelis  2012 David Sinclair/McDaniel College
Evan Pupelis 2012 David Sinclair/McDaniel College

WESTMINSTER, Md. – McDaniel built a 10-point first half and responded to a second-half Johns Hopkins rally to notch a 74-64 Centennial Conference (CC) victory on Wednesday.

Evan Pupelis (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset) led the Green Terror (2-4, 1-3 CC) to its first conference win of the season with a career-high 17 points. He finished one rebound shy of his second career double-double. Tyler Rudd (Glen Burnie, Md./Glen Burnie) added 13 points as part of five McDaniel players who reached double figures, improving to 4-0 all-time under head coach Kevin Curley when that happens.

Nic Martin (Hagerstown, Md./St. Maria Goretti) added 11 points while Andrew Merlo (Rehoboth, Del./Cape Henlopen) and Jimmy Cranwell (Brick, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven Regional) added 10 each.

George Bugarinovic led the Blue Jays (4-3, 2-2 CC) with 26 points, hitting 9 of his 11 field goals and 8 of his 11 free throws.

After six ties and four lead changes through the first 12 mintues of the game, Cranwell went to the line with 7:53 on the clock and sank a pair of free throws to give the Green Terror a 22-21 lead, sparking a 12-1 run in the process.

Four more points from Cranwell contributed to the run that put the hosts in front 32-22 with 1:06 remaining in the first half.

Jimmy Hammer canned a triple in the final 10 seconds of the first half to close the deficit to seven at the intermission.

The Blue Jays – behind five points from Hammer – scored 16 of the first 23 second-half points to close within 39-38 on a Hammer 3-pointer with 14:19 to play.

Rudd, however, responded on the other end with a trey of his own to spark a 7-0 burst that stretched the lead back to eight just 1:47 later.

A Bugarinovic three-point closed the deficit to 46-41 with 11:44 on the clock but a technical foul on a the Hopkins bench sent Martin to the line, where he converted both free throws to push the lead back to seven.

A Merlo 3-pointer gave McDaniel its largest lead to that point at 59-48 before Pupelis converted a layup to stretch the advantage to 13 with 6:08 showing.

A Rhodes 3-pointer closed the deficit to 69-64 with 1:16 to play but the Green Terror went 5-for-6 from the line in the final minute to seal the victory.

Phillip Perry (Crownsville, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) dished out four assists while Merlo and Wesley Brooks (North Wales, Pa./North Penn) handed out three each.

McDaniel returns to action at Washington (Md.) on Saturday. Game time is 4 p.m.