Merlo leads way with 25
WESTMINSTER, Md. – McDaniel hit its first six 3-pointers of the second half to build a 17-point lead on its way to a 90-76 Centennial Conference (CC) men's basketball victory over Ursinus on Saturday.
Andrew Merlo (Rehoboth, Del./Cape Henlopen) recorded his second 20-point outing of the season to lead the Green Terror (10-5, 4-4 CC) with 25 points on 7-for-10 shooting, including hitting both of his attempts from long range. Phillip Perry (Crownsville, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) chipped in a career-best 18 points on 6-for-12 shooting.
Jon Ward and Malik Draper paced the Bears (6-9, 4-4 CC) with 19 points apiece.
Trailing by as many as six in the first half, Tyler Rudd (Glen Burnie, Md./Glen Burnie) hit the first of two free throws and Evan Pupelis (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset) converted a layup to close the deficit to 18-15 with 10:07 remaining.
A Draper layup stretched the lead back to four before Merlo hit two free throws and Duane Echols (Jessup, Md./Hammond) laid home a Perry steal-and-pass to knot the game at 22-all.
Two Ward free throws gave Ursinus a 28-24 lead with 5:46 to play but a Rudd three-point play just seven seconds later sparked a 45-24 stretch that spanned the next 16:42.
A Wesley Brooks (North Wales, Pa./North Penn) jumper with 4:20 on the clock gave the Green Terror a 29-28 lead before Kevin Janowski responded to put the visitors back on top by one.
However, Merlo hit Brooks on the break to give McDaniel the lead for good with 3:12 to play in the opening half.
Two Merlo layups, including a three-point play, around a Draper bucket and a Merlo steal that led to a Perry dunk gave the hosts a 38-32 lead at the break.
A Merlo triple stretched that lead to nine just 29 seconds into the second half before Echols canned a trey of his own to make it a 12-point game.
Clinging to a 56-48 lead after a Pat Vasturia 3-pointer with 12:53 to play, the Green Terror hit five of its next shots, including all three from long range, to push the lead to 17 with 8:57 to play.
Perry started the barrage with a 3-pointer before Pupelis hit a layup to make it a 13-point game.
Four straight points from Krasna closed the deficit to 61-52 with 10:28 to play but Rudd hit a layup on the break and Brooks and Merlo canned back-to-back 3-pointers.
The Bears, however, tallied nine of the game's next 10 points to pull within 70-61 but two Merlo free throws with 6:30 on the clock put the lead back in double figures for the rest of the game.
Echols matched his career high with 13 points while Rudd finished with 11 points. Brooks matched his career best with seven points. Merlo handed out four assists and nabbed two steals. Perry had three helpers for McDaniel, which reached 90 points in a CC game for the first time under sixth-year head coach Kevin Curley. The last time the Green Terror tallied 90 or more in a conference game was a 94-89 victory over Washington (Md.) on Feb. 18, 2006.
McDaniel returns to action at home against Swarthmore on Wednesday. Game time is 7 p.m.
Andrew Merlo and Phillip Perry talk about defeating Ursinus after losing to the Bears earlier in the season.