WESTMINSTER, Md. – McDaniel put together a 14-2 run midway through the second half to turn a six-point deficit into a six-point lead en route to a 53-48 Centennial Conference (CC) men's basketball victory over Swarthmore on Saturday.
Evan Pupelis (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset) led three players in double figures with 11 points for the Green Terror (17-6, 12-4 CC), who clinched its first CC playoff berth since 2011 with the victory. Phillip Perry (Crownsville, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) and Cameron Royster (Derwood, Md./Magruder) added 10 points apiece.
Chris Bourne, Jay Kober and Luke McCartin paced the Garnet (6-17, 3-13 CC) with nine points each.
Trailing 39-33 on a Joe Keedy free throw with 12:14 showing, Pupelis hit the second of his two attempts from the charity stripe 22 seconds later to start the rally.
A Wesley Brooks (North Wales, Pa./North Penn) 3-pointer with 10:24 showing closed the deficit to two before Bourne hit a layup to stretch the lead back to four.
Perry hit a driving layup with 8:20 showing and Royster converted a pair from the charity stripe nearly a minute later to even the game.
A Pupelis layup with 5:27 showing put McDaniel in front for good. The senior added another layup 46 seconds later and Perry finished off a Pupelis dish 31 seconds after that for a 47-41 lead.
Keedy snapped a five-minute scoring drought and closed the deficit to four with 3:49 to play but Pupelis responded with a putback on the other end.
A Karl Barkley layup and two Andrew Merlo (Rehoboth, Del./Cape Henlopen) free throws kept it a six-point margin with 2:12 to play before a Sam Lebryk layup and one Bourne free throw made it a one-possession game with 33.7 seconds showing.
Perry converted a pair of attempts from the charity stripe with 17.6 seconds remaining, however, to seal the win.
Kober and Jimmy Cranwell (Brick, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven) traded baskets on the teams' first possessions before a Duane Echols (Jessup, Md./Hammond) fast-break layup gave the Green Terror a 4-2 edge with 17:58 showing.
Two Kober free throws once again knotted the game before McDaniel reeled off eight straight points on layups by three different players.
A Kober three-point play closed the deficit to 12-7 with 11:33 remaining before Barkley hit a jumper a minute later.
A 10-3 burst pushed the lead to double digits on a Perry layup with 6:31 on the clock before the Garnet chipped away to make it a 29-27 game at the break.
Swarthmore added 11 of the first 13 points in the second half to open up a 38-31 lead on a Keedy triple with 14:05 remaining.
Brooks contributed eight points and five assists for McDaniel.
The Green Terror returns to action at Johns Hopkins on Wednesday. Game time is 8 p.m.