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Merlo tallies 19 in victory

Cameron Royster (c) 2013 David Sinclair/McDaniel College
Cameron Royster (c) 2013 David Sinclair/McDaniel College

WESTMINSTER, Md. – McDaniel successfully fended off a second-half Haverford rally, stretching the game out to a 65-51 Centennial Conference (CC) men's basketball victory on Saturday.

Andrew Merlo (Rehoboth, Del./Cape Henlopen) led the Green Terror (9-4, 4-2 CC) with 19 points while Cameron Royster (Derwood, Md./Magruder) added a career-best 10 points. Phillip Perry (Crownsville, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) rounded out a trio in double figures with 12 points.

Louis Cipriano led the Fords (4-7, 0-6 CC) with 12 points. Brett Cohen chipped in a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Coming out of the locker room with a 28-21 advantage, Perry and Cohen traded baskets before Wesley Brooks (North Wales, Pa./North Penn) drained a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to give McDaniel a 10-point advantage with 18:36 showing.

Haveford, however, responded with 11 straight points to take its first lead of the game at 34-33 with 14:12 on the clock.

Back-to-back Jimmy Cranwell (Brick, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven) layups put McDaniel back in front by three.

A Cipriano triple gave the visitors a 45-44 advantage with 6:54 to play before Merlo responded with a 3-pointer of his own to spark a 19-4 run.

Perry pushed the lead to 49-45 before Gibby Graves and Merlo traded fast-break baskets.

Two Matt Sherman free throws closed the margin to 51-49 with 3:54 showing before one Evan Pupelis (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset) free throw and five straight Merlo points stretched the lead to eight with 2:09 remaining.

Royster hit a layup to push the lead to double digits once against before the squad made its next six free throws to seal the victory.

Perry and Cohen traded baskets in the game's first 1:38 before Brooks rattled home a 3-pointer to put McDaniel in front for the remainder of the first half.

A Nick Perugino (Lewes, Del./Salesianum) 3-pointer in the corner and Perry layup stretched the lead to 18-8 with 8:25 on the clock before a Cipriano layup and Lucas Colombo 3-pointer closed the deficit to five.

Back-to-back layups from Perry and Royster swelled the advantage to 28-19 before Graves closed the first half with a layup.

Pupelis led the way on the glass with eight rebounds while Perry and Royster added six each.

The Green Terror returns to action at Swarthmore on Tuesday. Game time is 8 p.m.

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