Merlo nets career-high 27
HARTFORD, Conn. - McDaniel hit 17 of its 20 free-throw attempts, including going 7-for-8 in the final minute to secure a 64-55 men's basketball victory over FDU-Florham in the championship game of the Trinity (Conn.) Invitational on Sunday.
Andrew Merlo (Rehoboth, Del./Cape Henlopen) led the Green Terror (6-4) with a career-high 27 points, including hitting 12 of his 14 attempts from the charity stripe. Merlo and Phillip Perry (Crownsville, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) were named to the all-tournament team.
Trevor Sykes and Will Green paced the Devils (3-7) with 17 points apiece.
Tied at 4-all, a Nic Martin (Hagerstown, Md./St. Vincent Goretti) pull-up 3-pointer from the top of the key with 15:00 on the clock sparked a 10-2 run. His triple at the other end forced an FDU-Florham timeout with 12:58 showing.
A Martin 19-footer with 9:10 to play stretched the advantage to 23-11 before the Devils reeled off seven straight points to close within 23-18 with 6:38 remaining.
The Green Terror lead fluttered between three and seven for the remainder of the half en route to a 30-26 advantage at the break.
Perry hit a pair of free throws with 17:37 on the clock for a 34-28 lead before Trevor Sykes and Merlo traded triples to keep it a six-point game.
Evan Pupelis (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset) and Perry added buckets to stretch the lead to 10 and force a timeout with 14:56 on the clock.
Sykes hit another trey to close the defict to 41-34 with 13:47 to play but a Tyler Rudd (Glen Burnie, Md./Glen Burnie) 3-pointer keyed a 7-2 burst over the game's next 4:12.
After a Sykes 3-pointer trimmed the deficit to 54-49, Duane Echols (Jessup, Md./Hammond) hit the first of two free throws to push the lead back to six with 4:04 showing.
Mike Williamson hit a driving layup to close the deficit to 55-51 with 2:27 to play.
Merlo, however, scored the Green Terror's final seven points, including a 7-for-8 showing from the chairty stripe in the final minute.
Martin added 10 points - all in the first half - and five assists. Pupelis pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
The Green Terror returns to action at home against Penn State-Mont Alto on Wednesday. Game time is 7 p.m.