Rudd pours in 34 in triple OT thriller

Tyler Rudd 2013 David Sinclair/McDaniel College

WESTMINSTER, Md. – Tyler Rudd (Glen Burnie, Md./Glen Burnie) scored nine of McDaniel's 15 points in the third overtime, finishing with a career-high 34 points to lift his team to a 95-87 victory over Washington (Md.) in Centennial Conference (CC) men's basketball action on Saturday.

The senior finished 8-for-13 from the floor, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range, and hit a career-best 14 of 18 from the free-throw line, leading the Green Terror (11-8, 5-7 CC) with the program's highest single-game point total since Will Marshall scored 36 against Ursinus on Dec. 7, 1996. Rudd played 42 of the game's 55 minutes, including 14 of the 15 extra minutes.

Evan Pupelis (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset) finished with career highs of 19 points and 16 rebounds, playing 43 minutes. Andrew Merlo (Rehoboth, Del./Cape Henlopen) chipped in 18 points in a team-high 49 minutes. Jimmy Cranwell (Brick, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven Regional) added 11 points off the bench, hitting all five of his field-goal attempts.

Stephen Poarch led the Shoremen (2-17, 2-10 CC) with 30 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists – all career highs – playing a game-high 52 minutes. Kevin Cunningham added 21 points.

Tied at 80-all after Charlie McShane, who finished with 16 points,  hit a deep game-tying 3-pointer at the end of the second overtime – just like he did at the end of the first overtime, Rudd hit the first of two free throws 21 seconds into the third extra session to give McDaniel a lead it did not relinquish.

Rudd added a three-point on the next possession before Pupelis finished a layup for an 86-80 lead with 3:16 to play.

Poarch hit a 3-pointer to slice the deficit in half but Rudd pushed the lead back to four with a single free throw at the 2:16 mark.

Two Poarch free throws closed the deficit to 87-85 before Cranwell quickly finished at the other end.

Poarch and Rudd exchanged free throws before Merlo and Rudd each canned two from the charity stripe in the final 31 seconds for the victory.

Behind four points from Cunningham, Washington jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the game's first 4:34.

Merlo, however, nailed a triple with 15:06 to play to ignite a 26-4 run over the next 9 minutes, 44 seconds. The sophomore had eight of the Green Terror's points during the stretch. A Phillip Perry (Crownsville, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) steal-and-layup capped the run.

Two Cunningham free throws with 4:56 to play in the opening half halted a 5-minute, 48-second scoring drought and sparked an 11-0 run to the intermission. Cunningham had seven points during the rally.

Baskets from Poarch and Cunningham extended the run to 15 straight points on the other side of the intermission before a Rudd 3-pointer with 17:46 showing snapped a 7-minute, 36-second scoreless stretch.

Rudd added back-to-back layups to make it seven straight points before Sean Brooks closed the deficit to 35-30.

A Merlo trey pushed the lead back to eight with 15:45 remaining in the second half.

A Pupelis layup extended the lead to as many as nine at 57-48 with 4:30 to play but six straight Shoremen points made it a 57-54 game just 74 seconds later.

Two Rudd free throws with 43.5 seconds to play made it a 62-57 game before Pat Morgan drained a deep 3-pointer with 30.7 seconds left and Cunningham converted a layup with 13.3 seconds showing to knot the game at 62-all.

McDaniel missed a pair of potential game-winning shots at the end of regulation to send the game to overtime.

A Cunningham layup off the opening tip gave Washington its first lead since 13:08 on the first-half clock.

A Perry tip-in knotted the game.

Poarch and Nic Martin (Hagerstown, Md./St. Maria Goretti) exchanged a pair of free throws before a Pupelis layup and two Merlo free throws with 18.1 seconds left gave McDaniel a 70-66 lead.

Poarch hit a 3-pointer with 11.3 seconds showing to make it a one-point game but Wesley Brooks (North Wales, Pa./North Penn) hit two free throws 1.1 seconds later to push the lead back to three.

McShane, however, pulled up and hit with 2.6 seconds showing to force a second five-minute extra session.

Rudd hit a layup 23 seconds into the second overtime before Poarch responded with a 3-pointer for a 75-74 lead.

One Pupelis free throw tied the game before McShane put the visitors back on top with layup.

A Rudd 3-pointer with1:57 showing and two free throws with 15.2 seconds on the clock made it an 80-77 game before McShane hit with 5.5 seconds remaining for the decisive third overtime.

For McDaniel, it was the team's first triple overtime game since winning the Pride of Maryland championship with an 85-84 win over Hood on Nov. 25, 2007.

McDaniel returns to action at Dickinson on Thursday. Game time is 8 p.m.

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Tyler Rudd joins Tim Murray and Dave Trumbo on the postgame show after scoring 34 points in the triple-OT win over Washington.

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