HARTFORD, Conn. – McDaniel built a 17-point lead midway through the first half en route to a 70-53 non-conference men's basketball victory over Trinity (Conn.) in the first round of the Trinity Invitational on Saturday.
Phillip Perry (Crownsville, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) tallied a career-high 15 points to lead the Green Terror (5-4), who advances to Sunday's championship game to take on Regis. Tyler Rudd (Glen Burnie, Md./Glen Burnie) added 13 points, including hitting a career-best 10 free throws.
Jaquann Starks paced the Bantams (4-6) with 15 points.
Behind a pair of Andrew Merlo (Rehoboth, Del./Cape Henlopen) free throws and a Perry jumper, McDaniel jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the game's first minute.
After Starks got Trinity on the board with a turnaround jumper that just beat the shot clock, Duane Echols (Jessup, Md./Hammond) canned a 3-pointer in the right corner to give the Green Terror a 7-2 lead.
A Perry triple and Nic Martin (Hagerstown, Md./St. Maria Goretti) three-point play pushed the advantage to 13-3 with 12:18 to play in the first half.
The Bantams were forced to use their fourth timeout of the game with 9:00 showing after an Evan Pupelis (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset) layup stretched the McDaniel advantage to 26-9.
The 17-point advantage was the Green Terror's largest of the first half en route to a 36-24 edge at the break.
A Merlo 3-pointer and Pupelis three-point play around a Mickel Simpson layup pushed the lead to 18 in the first minute of the second half.
Trinity, however, countered with a 10-2 run to close the deficit to 46-36 before Rudd was fouled in the act of shooting a 3-pointer. He proceeded to hit all three attempts from the charity stripe to push the lead back to 13 with 14:24 to play.
Two Simpson free throws and a Shay Ajayi layup trimmed the deficit to single digits for the first time since it was an 11-3 game at 49-40 with 12:21 showing.
After Hart Gliedman answered two Jimmy Cranwell (Brick, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven Regional) free throws with a layup, Rudd canned a trey in the left corner to push the lead to 54-42 with 10:10 to play.
Clinging to a 10-point lead, Rudd was fouled again shooting a 3-pointer and a deadball contact technical foul was called against the Bantam with 7:05 to play.
Martin hit one of two on the technical free throws before Rudd canned all three of his attempts. After McDaniel was awarded possession, Martin came up with an offensive rebound and was fouled.
He sank the first of his two attempts and then was fouled on a fast-break attempt after a steal, sinking both that time to push the lead to 63-46 with 6:03 to play, sealing the victory.
Rudd and Perry led the Green Terror on the glass with eight boards apiece.
Game time on Sunday is 3 p.m.