WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – McDaniel scored the first 10 points of the second half to turn a three-point deficit into a seven-point advantage en route to a 58-50 men's basketball victory over Misericordia in the opening round of the Louis Fleming Basinger Memorial Tournament hosted by Lycoming on Monday.
Phillip Perry (Crownsville, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) led the Green Terror (6-3) with a season-best 16 points. He also added five rebounds and three steals while going 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. With the win, McDaniel advances to Tuesday's championship game against the host Warriors. Game time is 3 p.m.
Steve Ware paced the Cougars (3-5) with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Trailing by three at the intermission, the Green Terror held Misericordia without a point for the first 5:51 of the second half while reeling off a 10-0 run – all on layups. Four different McDaniel players scored during the run.
After a 0-for-6 start to the second half, Ware broke up the drought by converting a three-point play.
An Erik Kerns layup a minute later closed the deficit to two but a Duane Echols (Jessup, Md./Hammond) three-point play off a Wesley Brooks (North Wales, Pa./North Penn) steal and dish sparked an other 8-0 run to push the lead to double digits for the first time with 9:22 showing.
Two Joe Busacca free throws closed the deficit to 46-42 with 5:30 on the clock but Evan Pupelis (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset) and Perry each hit layups around a Kerns free throw to stretch the lead back to seven with 3:58 remaining.
A Busacca free throw made it 52-48 with 33.9 seconds showing but McDaniel hit all six of its free-throw attempts in the final 30 seconds to seal the win.
Misericordia built a 12-6 lead on an Anthony Sergio 3-pointer with 14:13 remaining in the first half before a Brooks 3-pointer keyed a 6-0 counter that evened the game just 2:12 later.
From there, the first half featured seven more ties and four lead changes before Griffin Sponaugle canned a triple with 25 ticks remaining to give the Cougars a 29-26 advantage at the break.
In the second half, the Green Terror defense held the Cougars to 4-for-27 shooting from the floor, holding an opponent to under 20 percent in a half for the first time since 2009. On the offensive end, the squad converted all 11 free-throw attempts in the second stanza to go 18-for-23 in the game.
Echols added 10 points while Andrew Merlo (Rehoboth, Del./Cape Henlopen) added four assists and five rebounds to his four points.