Men's Basketball Outlasts McDaniel in OT

Men's Basketball Outlasts McDaniel in OT

WESTMINSTER, Md. – The Ursinus College men's basketball team had waited almost seven years for a win at McDaniel. An extra five minutes wasn't going to deter them.

The Bears outlasted the Green Terror, 83-77, in overtime on Saturday afternoon, to snap a seven-game losing streak in Westminster and pick up a critical Centennial Conference road victory, their first at McDaniel since January 14, 2010. 

The Gill Center had been a house of horrors for Ursinus for much of the last decade. The Bears' last two losses there were by a total of four points, and included a devastating collapse two years ago in which they blew a 12-point lead with less than four minutes to play. This time, Ursinus put an end to its Westminster woes, and it took all hands on deck to do it.

In a back-and-forth tug-of-war that featured 10 ties and 12 lead changes, and in which neither team ever led by more than seven, the Bears (4-2, 2-1) were behind 65-61 before junior Eric Williams Jr. knocked home a pair of 3-pointers to give the visitors the upper hand with 49 seconds remaining in regulation. Benjamin Young tied it at the other end with a lay-up, and Williams' buzzer-beating triple was off the mark to send the teams into an extra session.

Sophomore Ryan McTamney took over in overtime, starting the period with a driving lay-in that gave Ursinus the lead for good and added a three-point play that made it 74-70 with 1:09 to play. After the Green Terror (1-5, 0-3) cut it to 76-74, senior Zach Quattro provided the dagger with a 3-pointer with just 35 ticks showing on the clock as the Bears finally escaped Westminster with a win in tow.

Despite the tension it carries, overtime has been kind to the Bears of late. Ursinus has won seven straight overtime contests dating back to a 108-103 loss against Haverford in 2010. 

Eric Williams finished with a game-high 24 points for Ursinus, including a 5-for-9 effort from 3-point range that, combined with a 3-for-4 showing from Quattro and a 2-for-4 effort from McTamney, helped the Bears shoot 58.8 percent from long range and 54.7 percent overall (29 of 53).

Ursinus made more than 50 percent of its field-goal attempts for the fifth straight game, and sunk at least half of their 3-pointers for the fourth time in six contests.

McTamney produced 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting in a big combined bounce-back effort with Williams. The guard tandem scored just 13 points combined in Thursday's loss to F&M, but rallied to post 44 on 14-of-25 (56 percent) from the field two days later.

Quattro was hyper efficient once again, making 8 of 10 from the floor on the way to a 19-point night. The senior stretch forward has shot at least 50 percent in all but one game this season and is a scorching 19 for 25 (76 percent) in his last two.

Sophomore Shane Stark registered his first double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and senior Remi Janicot came off the bench to add six points and six boards. Stark added a career-high five assists, which senior Brian Rafferty matched.

Josh McWilliams matched Eric Williams with 24 points, Isaac Ray chipped in 22, and D.J. Harper had 15 for McDaniel. Ray made seven 3-pointers for the Green Terror, who came in with just 24 total triples in the season's first five games but drilled a dozen in this one.

The men's basketball team closes the book on the 2017 portion of its conference season with another tough road test, as the Bears head to 12th-ranked and defending CC champion Swarthmore on Wednesday.