McWilliams explodes for 29

Josh McWilliams (c) 2016 David Sinclair/McDaniel College
Josh McWilliams (c) 2016 David Sinclair/McDaniel College

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Ursinus built a 13-point lead midway through the second half before staving off a McDaniel rally to notch an 80-68 Centennial Conference (CC) men's basketball victory on Saturday.

Josh McWilliams (Newtown, Pa./Council Rock North) led the Green Terror (2-4, 0-3 CC) with a career-best 29 points, hitting 12 of 22 field goals, including going 5-for-10 from long range.

Matt Knowles paced three players in double figures for the Bears (5-1, 3-0 CC) with 17 points.

Knowles drained a 3-pointer on the opening possession and the hosts never trailed.

Austin Cannon (Hampstead, Md./Manchester Valley) responded at the other end with two free throws before Eric Williams Jr. canned another triple.

McWilliams answered a Brian Rafferty 3-pointer with a trey of his own before DJ Harper (Upper Marlboro, Md./Riverdale Baptist) hit the first of two free throws to even the game at 12-all.

After Matt Williams and McWilliams traded baskets, Zach Muredda hit back-to-back 3-pointers to open up a six-point lead with 13:46 showing and spark a 13-4 run.

Six straight points late in the half stretched the lead from nine with two minutes to play into a 45-30 game before Colin Bortner (Gettysburg, Pa./Gettysburg Area) hit a single free throw with 14.8 seconds remaining to make it a 14-point game at the break.

Back-to-back Williams baskets made it a 60-47 game with 12:42 to play before Nick Perugino (Lewes, Del./Salesianum) drained a 3-pointer to spark a 12-2 run over a 2-minute, 52-second stretch that trimmed the deficit to three with 9:26 showing.

Eight straight points from Knowles, however, stretched the lead back to double digits with 6:48 on the clock and McDaniel got no closer than eight the rest of the way.

Harper finished with eight points and a team-high six rebounds. Perugino chipped in nine points.

The Green Terror returns to action at home against Washington (Md.) on Wednesday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

-30-