Stewart tallies 15 in ECAC semifinal
OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Neumann went on a 16-4 run midway through the second half to open up a double-digit lead, defeating McDaniel 73-65 in the semifinals of the 2014 ECAC Southeast men's basketball tournament on Saturday.
Tim Stewart (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) recorded 15 points, six rebounds and three assists to lead the Green Terror (18-10), whose season finished with a program record-tying 18 wins.
Kevin Green paced the Knights (20-9) into Sunday's championship game with 24 points, including hitting all four of his team's 3-pointers.
After a back-and-forth stretch, Evan Pupelis (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset) hit the second of two free throws with 9:49 to play to knot the game at 47-all.
On the ensuing Neumann possession, DeShawn Lowman converted a layup to spark the game-clinching run.
Green added a 3-pointer on the next possession before a Duane Echols (Jessup, Md./Hammond) putback closed the deficit to 52-49 with 8:18 to play.
Three different Knights scored over the next two minutes to stretch the lead to 58-49.
Two Stewart free throws and an Echols layup around a Lamon Church layup made it a 60-53 game before a Green three-point play with 5:08 on the clock stretched the lead to double digits.
A Pupelis layup trimmed the deficit to five with 3:22 to play but Neumann responded with the game's next five points and sealed the victory with a 7-for-10 showing from the charity stripe in the final minute.
Tied at 8-all with 12:07 to play in the opening half, Andrew Merlo (Rehoboth, Del./Cape Henlopen) canned the first of his four 3-pointers to spark a 14-4 run with 10:59 to play in the opening half.
After a Church layup made it a 15-12 game, Stewart threw down an emphatic dunk off a Phillip Perry (Crownsville, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) pass that sparked a 7-0 burst.
Wesley Brooks (North Penn, Pa./North Wales) drained a 3-pointer in the corner make it a 22-12 game with 6:32 on the clock.
Merlo gave the Green Terror its largest lead with a 3-pointer to cap the 5-minute, 25-second stretch at 25-14.
Green hit a triple in the final 30 seconds to make it a 32-27 game at the intermission.
After a Stewart layup gave McDaniel a 38-31 lead with 17:37 showing, Green hit back-to-back 3-pointers, including converting a four-point play on the second one to knot that game just 50 seconds later.
Echols finished with 13 points while Merlo added 12. Pupelis wrapped up his career with a 12-point, seven-rebound outing.