January 16, 2013

Poarch, Brooks Lead Shoremen to 70-68 Win Over Bears

CHESTERTOWN, MD -- Sophomore guard Stephen Poarch (Middletown, DE/Sanford School) recorded his first collegiate double-double with 27 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore guard Sean Brooks (North Wales, PA/North Penn) scored a career-best 18 points as the host Washington College men's basketball team held on to beat visiting Ursinus, 70-68, in a Centennial Conference game tonight inside Cain Athletic Center.

Tonight's win was the second in a row for the Shoremen (2-14, 2-7 Centennial) after breaking an 0-14 start with a 62-61 victory over then 14th-ranked Franklin & Marshall Saturday.

The Shoremen led by as many as 14 points in the second half and took a 44-31 lead into the intermission. Washington knocked down eight three-pointers, handed out 13 assists, and committed just two turnovers during the game's opening period.

Washington's lead grew to 16 points - its largest lead of the season - early in the second half when Poarch scored on a lay-up with 15:30 to play to give the Shoremen a 51-35 advantage. The Shoremen held a 61-49 lead with 7:29 remaining before Ursinus (6-10, 4-5) ran off a 14-4 spurt to close within two points at 65-63 on a pair of Jesse Krasna free throws with 3:00 remaining.

The Bears evened the score for the first time since the opening tip when Krasna converted one of two free throws with 1:18 to go, deadlocking the score at 65-65. Washington answered with a jumper by Brooks with 47 seconds to play giving the Shoremen a 67-65 lead. After a missed-three pointer by Malik Draper on the other end, freshman forward Dave Knox (Warrington, PA/Central Bucks South) made one of two free throws for the Shoremen with 30 seconds to go to up the lead to 68-65.

Krasna countered for Ursinus eight seconds later, scoring on a lay-up to trim the margin to 68-67. Brooks made one of two free throws for the Shoremen with 20 seconds left, Draper missed a lay-up on the other end, and Poarch grabbed the rebound and was fouled with seven seconds to go. Poarch made the first of the two free throws to give Washington a 70-67 advantage, but missed the second as Ryan Adams secured the rebound. Krasna was then fouled by Poarch on a three-point attempt with one second to go. Krasna made the first free throw, but missed the second. He intentionally missed the third to give the Bears a chance at a rebound and game-tying put-back, but Washington junior guard Kevin Cunningham (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape) secured the rebound instead and time expired.

Poarch's 10 rebounds were a career high. He also swiped a game-high and career high-tying four steals. Brooks added a career-best five assists and tied his career high with three steals to go along with his 18 points. Sophomore guard Sean Flanigan (Wilmington, DE/St. Mark's) chipped in 10 points and seven boards for the Shoremen, knocking down three of his five three-point attempts.

Malik Draper led Ursinus with 20 points, while Krasna finished with 15 points and four assists. Adams added a double-double off the bench for the Bears, contributing 12 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks. 

The Washington defense did an outstanding job on 2012 All-Centennial Conference first-team forward Jon Ward, holding him to a season-low four points and hounding him into a season-high eight turnovers before fouling out in 23 minutes.

The Shoremen shot just 26% from the field in the second half to finish at 36% to the Bears' 48%. They were also out-rebounded in the game, 42-35, but committed 10 fewer turnovers in the contest (8 to 18). Washington knocked down 12 of its 19 free throws on the night, while Ursinus was just 11-for-23 at the charity stripe.

Washington won despite shooting 2-for-13 from the field over the final 12 minutes of play. Both of those made field goals came from Brooks. 

The Shoremen return to action Saturday with a 4:00 p.m. Centennial Conference game at Muhlenberg.

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