COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College men's basketball team found its rhythm and utilized an impressive first-half run to get past Dickinson on Thursday, 87-75.
The victory lifts the Bears (9-5, 5-2) to sole possession of third place in the conference, trailing only nationally ranked Swarthmore and Franklin & Marshall.
The Bears came out firing early as senior Zach Quattro got the home side on the board with a layup 1:40 into the game and hit a 3-pointer 35 seconds later to give his squad a 5-4 lead. It was back and forth for a while, as each team traded buckets until it was a 20-20 ballgame. Sophomore Ryan McTamney had a pair of layups over that span while junior Matt Williams hit on a trey and Quattro added another bucket.
It wasn't until the Red Devils (8-6, 4-3) took a 22-20 lead thanks to a Moses Romocki layup for the Bears to lock in on both ends. Freshman George Gordon received a nifty pass from junior Zack Muredda and finished from the paint to tie the game at 22 with 6:09 remaining in the half. The Bears would go on to score the next 15 points following the bucket to compile a 17-0 run over the course of more than six minutes.
Freshman Bruce Edwards drilled a 3-pointer following Gordon's points, leading to a step-back jumper from Quattro. McTamney added a bucket on a put-back attempt that fired up the crowd in Helfferich Hall. Muredda would factor late in the run, finding Quattro on a 3-pointer with 2:32 to go and added a jumper of his own that kissed the glass and fell through the net. Muredda would add a blocked shot and a steal in the final 1:30 of the half.
The Bears did not allow a Red Devils bucket for almost seven full minutes, giving up one basket over the course of the final 7:31 of the frame. Dickinson missed seven shots over the course of the run while the Bears forced four turnovers.
Quattro was lights-out from the field through the first half, connecting on all five of his attempts, including a pair from beyond the arc to total 13 points.
The Red Devils changed some things in the second half, and found more lanes in the second frame. They opened the half with a 6-0 run that was halted by a 3-pointer from McTamney, making it a 41-30 game. The Bears got a layup from Quattro and a traditional 3-point play from junior Eric Williams Jr. that built the lead back to 46-32. Dickinson then put together a 9-0 run to stay close, with 11 minutes to go, making it 50-43. McTamney again thwarted the run with a 3-pointer.
From there, it was much of the same. The Red Devils kept clawing back, but the Bears would return fire. When Dickinson began to foul late, the clutch gene kicked in, as the Bears hit 14 of 16 free throws in the final six minutes of play.
McTamney led all scorers in the game with a career-high 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. Quattro finished 7-of-8 with 18 points while Eric Williams added 13 on a 3-of-5 day from the field. The Bears shot 60 percent from the field against a Dickinson squad that is second-best in the Centennial Conference in scoring defense, averaging 65 points per game. Ursinus went 9 for 18 from 3-point range and also out-rebounded the Red Devils 31-19.
The Bears head to The Palestra on Sunday for a matchup with Gettysburg before returning home for two against Muhlenberg and McDaniel.