Merlo records 17 points

Andrew Merlo  2012 David Sinclair/McDaniel College
Andrew Merlo 2012 David Sinclair/McDaniel College

HAVERFORD, Pa. – After seeing Haverford rally from a 10-point deficit to take the lead, McDaniel responded with a 9-0 run to regain an eight-point lead en route to a 61-54 Centennial Conference (CC) men's basketball victory on Thursday.

Andrew Merlo (Rehoboth, Del./Cape Henlopen) capped his 17-point night for the Green Terror (9-5, 3-4 CC) with five points during the game-clinching burst. Phillip Perry (Crownsville, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) added 14 points.

Brett Cohen led the Fords (5-7, 3-4 CC) with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

After Cohen capped a 9-1 stretch that gave the hosts a 50-49 lead with 4:46 to play, Nic Martin (Hagerstown, Md./St. Maria Goretti) hit a layup 48 seconds later to put McDaniel back in front.

Merlo canned a triple on the next possession and Perry converted off a Martin rebound and outlet for a 56-50 lead with 2:54 on the clock.

Two Merlo free throws with 49 seconds left pushed the advantage to eight before back-to-back Layups from Cam Baker trimmed the deficit to four just 24 seconds later.

The Green Terror, however, hit three of its six free-throw attempts on the offensive end and the defense held Haverford scoreless the rest of the way.

Buckets from Lucas Colombo and Cohen staked the Fords to a 4-0 lead in the game's first 1:59 before Merlo hit a trey to close the deficit to one.

Cohen pushed the lead back to three before Perry hit a 3-pointer of his own to tie the game and then converted a layup with 12:42 showing for an 8-6 lead.

The teams traded points before a Wesley Brooks (North Wales, Pa./North Penn) layup off a Merlo steal and Perry steal-and-layup gave the visitors a 14-11 edge with 8:13 on the clock.

Jack Rauchut (Warminster, Pa./William Tennent) stretched the advantage to five 79 seconds later.

Merlo pushed the lead to as many as nine at 28-19 before Gibby Graves made it a seven-point game at the intermission.

A Tyler Rudd (Glen Burnie, Md./Glen Burnie) 3-pointer gave McDaniel a 39-29 lead for its largest advantage of the game with 13:59 to play.

Merlo made it a 48-41 game, hitting a 3-pointer with 6:59 remaining before five points from Baker keyed the 9-1 stretch.

Rauchut and Rudd each had eight rebounds. Rauchet finished with nine points while Rudd and Brooks had seven each.

McDaniel returns to action at home against Ursinus on Saturday. Game time is 3 p.m.