Green Terror scores 18 of final 20 to best No. 18 Diplomats, 61-53
WESTMINSTER, Md. – Marcus Dyson (Scotch Plains, N.J./Union Catholic) recorded all but two points, four rebounds and one block of his 12-point, 9-rebound, 4-blocked shot game in the second half to propel McDaniel to a 61-53 victory over 18th-ranked Franklin & Marshall in Centennial Conference (CC) men's basketball action on Tuesday.
Devon Lesniak (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) matched Dyson with 12 points in a balanced attack for the Green Terror (6-7, 3-3 CC), who defeated the Diplomats (10-3, 5-1 CC) for the fifth straight time at the Gill Center.
Georgio Milligan paced the visitors with 19 points, including hitting 11 of 14 attempts from the free-throw line. James McNally added 14 points and nine rebounds.
In a game featuring the conference's top-ranked scoring offense and top-ranked scoring defense, defense won out in the end with McDaniel holding Franklin & Marshall to just two Milligan free throws over the final 6:33 of the game.
Lesniak sparked the game-ending 18-2 run with a pair of free throws at the 4:07 mark, helping the hosts claw out of an eight-point deficit.
Sarris-Grau scored the game's next five points, including converting his only free throw in five attempts with an old-fashioned three-point play that closed the deficit to 51-50 with 3:17 on the clock.
Two Lesniak tosses from the charity stripe – part of a 9-for-10 showing – 48 seconds later turned the one-point deficit into a one-point lead.
A Sarris-Grau putback off his own miss stretched the lead to three with 1:48 showing before Milligan canned a pair from the stripe 20 seconds later.
With 1:07 on the clock, Lesniak hit the second of two attempts for a two-points lead and then stretched it to a two-possession game with 33.4 seconds on the clock.
Michael Jarboe (Monrovia, Md./Urbana) and Dyson each hit a pair in the final 14.6 seconds to seal the eight-point win.
The two teams battled through a back-and-forth first half with both squads building leads of four points.
Woody Butler (Middletown, Md./Smithsburg) capped a 6-0 burst that put the hosts on top 18-14 for their largest advantage of the first half with 8:38 on the clock.
The Diplomats' largest lead came with a pair of McNally free throws that capped an 8-0 stretch at the 2:19 mark.
However, Christopher Cowles' (West Chester, Pa./Bayard Rustin) only three points of the game came on a trey in the corner with 1:05 on the first-half clock before Sarris-Grau hit a layup to give the Green Terror a 26-25 halftime lead.
McDaniel, however, would miss eight straight shots through the nearly eight-minute stretch in the second half that allowed Franklin & Marshall to build a 40-31 lead.
The teams exchanged scores over 3-minute, 34-second span to keep it an eight-point game at 51-43 with 6:33 on the clock before the hosts made the run.
Sarris-Grau added eight rebounds and four blocked shots while Butler chipped in six points and six rebounds.
McDaniel returns to action at Haverford on Thursday. Game time is 8 p.m.