Shoremen End #7 Diplomats' Perfect Season, 78-74

Shoremen End #7 Diplomats' Perfect Season, 78-74

Breslin Scores 18 Points In Victory

LANCASTER, PA – Sophomore forward Kevin Cunningham (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape) hit two free throws with 6.3 seconds left to break a 74-74 tie and put visiting Washington College up for good as the Shoremen topped #7 Franklin & Marshall, 78-74, in Centennial Conference men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at the Mayser Center.  The Shoremen improve to 9-6 overall and 5-3 in conference play, while the host Diplomats drop to 14-1 and 7-1 respectively.

With the score tied 72-72 with two minutes left in the contest, senior guard Kevin Breslin (Hagerstown, MD/St. Maria Goretti) put WC up 74-72 on a layup with 1:06 remaining in the second half, but F&M's Hayk Gyokchyan got the rebound off of a missed three-pointer and scored on a second chance bucket to level the contest at 74-74 with 40 seconds left.  On the next possession, Georgio Milligan stole the ball and was fouled.  Milligan however missed both from the foul line and WC was able to rebound the ball.  Cunningham was fouled by the Diplomats with 6.3 seconds left and made both from the charity stripe to put the guests up 76-74.  F&M on the inbounds pass threw the ball away and the Shoremen got the ball on the miscue.  Senior forward Adam Naymick (Hanover, PA/Delone Catholic) was fouled and sank both free throws with 3.8 seconds left to clinch the victory.  The two free throws gave the Shoremen 50 points in the second half.

In the first half, the two teams were tied 10-10 with 14:35 left in the opening half following a three-pointer by junior forward Tony Hawkins (Mt. Ephraim, NJ/Haddon Township) before the Diplomats scored eight of the next 12 points to take an 18-14 lead with 9:35 left in the first half on an Austin Alecxih jumper.  The Shoremen would go on a 7-2 run to take a 21-20 lead with 4:26 to go in the first half on a hoop by Breslin.  F&M would respond with a 10-4 run to take a 30-25 lead with 39 ticks left in the first half on an Ed Early layup.  Washington would counter with a three-pointer by senior guard Mark DeBoy (Baltimore, MD/Mount St. Joseph) 13 seconds later to trim the hosts' lead to 30-28 and that would be the score at halftime.

In the second half, Matt Porter converted a layup with 18:32 left in the game as the Diplomats scored six of the first eight points in the second stanza to lead 36-30.  Undaunted, the Shoremen scored nine of the next 11 points to take a 39-38 lead with 16:26 to go in the contest on a layup by senior forward Chris Olsen (Ellicott City, MD/Mount St. Joseph) on a feed by Breslin.  F&M would take a 44-43 lead with 14:08 left in the contest on a conventional three-point play by Milligan, but back-to-back three pointers by senior guard Sal Schittino (Ellicott City, MD/Loyola Blakefield) put WC back up 49-44 with 13:19 to go. 

The hosts would score seven straight points to grab a 51-49 lead with 11:43 to play on a Morgan Lee basket.  Breslin would find freshman forward Mark Henry (Spring City, PA/Owen J. Roberts) to level the contest at 51-51 with 11:36 left.  After a free throw by F&M, Alecxih drained a three to put the hosts up 55-51 with 10:53 remaining to cap an 11-2 run. 

With the score tied at 55-55, F&M scored six the next eight points to take a 61-57 lead with 8:37 left in the second on two free throws by Gyokchyan.  Breslin would respond on the next possession when he drained a three-pointer to cut the F&M lead to 61-60.  After an F&M free throw pushed it to 62-60, Breslin answered with a pair from the charity stripe to knot the tilt at 62-62. 

WC led 67-66 with 4:50 to go following a free throw by Cunningham.  After a miss by F&M, Breslin drained his second trifecta of the game to put the Shoremen up 70-66 with 3:55 remaining in the game.  On the next possession, Gyokchyan rebounded a missed shot and scored on a putback lay-in and drew the foul to trim the WC lead to 70-68.  He missed the free throw, but Jon Salandra grabbed the board and Gyokchyan scored on a layup to level the game at 70-70 with 3:16 to go.  The two teams would trade layups by Hawkins and Salandra and the teams were tied at 72-72 with two minutes to go.

Breslin had 18 points, while Hawkins added a personal-best 14 points and tied for tops in the game in steals with three for the Shoremen in the win.

Milligan had 19 points to lead all players, while Gyokchyan had 14 points and Porter and Salandra each chipped in with 10 points. Gyokchyan had a game-high 10 rebounds for a double-double.  Milligan led all players with six assists and totaled three steals to tie for tops in the contest.

WC shot 69% from three point range, going 9-for-13 in the win.  The Shoremen shot 47% from the floor, including 56% in the second half and 78% (21-for-27) from the foul line.

F&M shot 46% from the field in the game, 40% from behind the arc and 64% (18-for-28) from the foul line.  The Diplomats held a 38-30 edge in rebounds in the contest. 

Washington had 16 turnovers, while F&M had 19 turnovers in the game.  WC held a 20-14 edge in points off turnovers and 26-18 edge in bench points.  Franklin & Marshall had a commanding 44-28 edge in points in the paint and an 18-13 edge in second-chance points.

This is the third time that the Shoremen have downed a ranked opponent in the past four years, all of the wins coming on the road.  Washington topped #25 Gettysburg, 64-62, on January 31, 2009, #11 Franklin & Marshall, 68-63, on January 14, 2010 and today at #7 F&M, 78-74.  It is also WC's first win over a Top 10 side since downing #8 Franklin & Marshall, 77-71, on the road on February 24, 1999.

The Shoremen conclude their three-game road trip on Wednesday night when they play at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore in conference action.  Tip time is 7:00 p.m.