Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Pupelis tallies 12 and nine to lead way into semis

Evan Pupelis (c) 2013 David Sinclair/McDaniel College
Evan Pupelis (c) 2013 David Sinclair/McDaniel College

WESTMINSTER, Md. – It had been 53 years since a night like Wednesday night. On Feb. 25, 1961, then-Western Maryland defeated Johns Hopkins 86-65 in the Mason-Dixon first round game. For much of the first half on Feb. 26, 2014, McDaniel looked like it was going to cruise to ending a 12-game postseason losing streak. In the end, the home team held on for a 57-52 victory over Muhlenberg in the first round of the Centennial Conference men's basketball tournament.

With the win, the Green Terror (18-8) matches the program record for wins in a season with 18 and advances to Friday's semifinals at top-seeded Dickinson. Game time is 8 p.m.

Evan Pupelis (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset) led McDaniel with 12 points, nine rebounds and four assists while Nick Pergugino (Lewes, Del./Salesianum) added 12 points, canning four 3-pointers.

Malique Killing paced the Mules (16-10) with 23 points.

After a scoreless first 1:58, Duane Echols (Jessup, Md./Hammond) drained a 3-pointer in the corner for the first points of the game and the Green Terror never trailed.

Killing hit two free throws with 17:15 showing to get Muhlenberg on the board before Pupelis responded with a layup at the other end and Echols added a free throw with 16:01 showing for a 6-2 lead.

After Killing sliced the lead to two, Phillip Perry (Crownsville, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) hit a layup to spark a 20-2 run that stretched the advantage to 20 with 7:57 on the clock.

Perugino hit back-to-back 3-pointer during the run to lead a stretch in which seven different Green Terror players contributed baskets.

Trailing 28-8, Kevin Hargrove tallied his only points of the half with 6:53 to play, sparking a 15-6 rally that closed the deficit to 34-23 at the break.

Killing hit a layup 37 seconds into the second half to trim the margin to single digits for the first time since 14-6.

McDaniel pushed the lead back to as many as 15 on an Andrew Merlo (Rehoboth, Del./Cape Henlopen) jumper that made it 42-27 with 12:55 remaining.

Clinging to a 48-39 lead, Perry hit a jumper late in the shot clock with 7:05 to play to push the lead back to 11.

Five straight points from Stavtski and four in a row from Killing closed the deficit to 50-48 with 2:07 to play.

Jimmy Cranwell (Brick, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven) hit the first free throw in a 1-and-1 situation 11 seconds later before Killing drove to the basket on the other end to make it a one-point game.

Pupelis and Killing traded layups to keep it a one-point game before Pupelis converted a layup with 36.4 seconds left to push the lead to 55-52.

The Mules had a pair of game-tying 3-point attempt at the other end, including a Killing attempt that was more than halfway down before popping back out before Cranwell corralled the rebound.

The senior missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 14.0 seconds left but gathered his own rebound.

After another missed front end, Pupelis hauled in the rebound and Wesley Brooks (North Wales, Pa./North Penn) hit both free throws with 4.5 seconds remaining to seal the victory.

Tim Stewart (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) added seven rebounds while Perry and Merlo had seven points each. Merlo also dished out four assists while Perry had three.


Making the grade
July 9, 2014 Making the grade
McDaniel in ECAC field
March 3, 2014 McDaniel in ECAC field
Stewart nets 16 in semis
February 28, 2014 Stewart nets 16 in semis
Merlo nets nine
February 22, 2014 Merlo nets nine
Brooks tallies 11
February 19, 2014 Brooks tallies 11
Making the grade
February 7, 2014 Making the grade
Merlo scores 16 in road win
January 14, 2014 Merlo scores 16 in road win
Merlo tallies 19 in victory
January 11, 2014 Merlo tallies 19 in victory
Perry nets career-best 19
January 4, 2014 Perry nets career-best 19
Merlo named Player of the Week
December 16, 2013 Merlo named Player of the Week
Perry tallies 11
December 3, 2013 Perry tallies 11
Brooks scores 13 in victory
November 26, 2013 Brooks scores 13 in victory
Stewart tallies 17
November 23, 2013 Stewart tallies 17
Tinuoye debuts with 13 points
November 15, 2013 Tinuoye debuts with 13 points