Shoremen Lose Heart-Breaker, but Clinch Playoff Berth
Breslin Scores 20 in 77-75 Loss to Ursinus; Shoremen Benefit from Muhlenberg Win Over Haverford
CHESTERTOWN, MD -- Trey Harry hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to lift visiting Ursinus over host Washington College, 77-75, in a Centennial Conference men's basketball game tonight inside Cain Athletic Center. Despite the loss, the Shoremen (13-11, 9-8 Centennial) clinched the the last remaining berth in the upcoming five-team Centennial Conference Tournament thanks to Muhlenberg's 70-61 win over Haverford tonight.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first half as Ursinus (9-15, 8-9 Centennial) committed 13 turnovers and Washington shot just 6-for-28 from the field. The Bears held a slim 29-28 lead at the intermission as both teams benefitted from free-throw shooting. Ursinus was 9-for-12 at the line over the first 20 minutes, while the Shoremen were 14-for-18.
In the second half, the Shoremen built a 40-36 lead with 16:20 remaining, and held a 47-46 advantage with 12:30 to go, but the Bears ran off a 9-0 run to take a 55-47 lead on a free throw by Matt Donahue with 10:31 to go. Washington chipped away at the lead before pulling back in front, 66-65, on a fast-break lay-up by sophomore forward Kevin Cunningham (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape) with 4:14 left. The Shoremen held a 72-69 advantage after a pair of free throws by senior guard Sal Schittino (Ellicott City, MD/Loyola Blakefield) with 2:46 remaining, but Matt Donahue evened the score for the Bears with a three-pointer 15 seconds later.
Ursinus pulled ahead when Jon Ward made one of two free throws with 1:08 to go, but Washington pulled back in front on a pair of free throws by senior guard Kevin Breslin (Hagerstown, MD/St. Maria Goretti) with 54 seconds left. Donahue made the second of two free throws with 39 seconds on the clock to even the score at 74-74.
Breslin missed a lay-up on the Shoremen's next possession and Donahue collected the rebound for Ursinus. Harry missed a jumper with five seconds remaining and Cunningham grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 4.7 seconds to go. Cunningham mad the first of his two free throws, but missed the second. Kevin Janowski collected the rebound and the ball was passed downcourt to Ward. Cunningham knocked the ball away, but it went right to Harry just outside the three-point line. Harry got the shot off just in time and found the bottom of the net to give the Bears the 77-75 win.
Donahue scored a team-best 17 points off the bench for Ursinus, while Janowski came off the bench to score 14 points. Jesse Krasna added 13 points and eight rebounds, while Harry and Ward had 10 points a piece.
Breslin led all scorers with 20 points for the Shoremen. Junior forward Tony Hawkins (Mt. Ephraim, NJ/Haddon Township) added a career high-tying 17 points, while Cunningham had 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Schittino chipped in 10 points in the loss.
Ursinus shot 61% from the floor in the second half to finish at 51% for the game. The Shoremen also shot better in the second half, hitting on 48% of their shots from the floor to finish at 35%. Ursinus finished the game 25-of-35 at the charity stripe and committed 21 turnovers, while Washington was 32-of-42 at the line and committed 12 turnovers. Ursinus held a slight 38-34 edge on the glass.
The Shoremen close out their regular season Saturday with a 4:00 p.m. Centennial Conference home game against Johns Hopkins. A win, coupled with an Ursinus win over Muhlenberg Saturday would give the Shoremen the three seed and a first-round bye in the conference tournament. A win by Washington and a Muhlenberg win at Ursinus would give the Shoremen the four seed and they would host Johns Hopkins again next Wednesday in the tournament's first-round game. A loss by the Shoremen would make them the five seed in the tournament and they would travel to either Johns Hopkins (if Muhlenberg beats Ursinus) or Muhlenberg (if Ursinus beats Muhlenberg) in the tournament's first-round game.