GRANTHAM, Pa. – A huge run bridging the halftime break powered the Ursinus College men's basketball team to a 72-64 season-opening win over Roanoke in the first round of the Messiah Tip-Off Tournament.
The Maroons, who are receiving votes in the D3hoops.com preseason national poll, scored the game's first six points and kept Ursinus at arm's length en route to a 30-22 lead late in the first half. But the Bears locked in on defense, holding Roanoke scoreless for the final four minutes of the frame and closing the period on a 10-0 run.
Edwards triggered the spurt with a layup, and back-to-back buckets from freshman Ryan Hughes and McTamney made it 30-28 before sophomore George Gordon tied it with a field goal of his own. Two free throws by senior Matt Williams handed the Bears a 32-30 lead heading into the locker rooms.
Ursinus came out firing in the second stanza, which began with a 3-pointer from McTamney. It was 35-32 at the 18:09 mark, but Gordon hit a free throw and Eric Williams reeled off seven consecutive points to stretch the margin to double digits at 43-32. McTamney scored seven straight points of his own during a 12-0 run that culminated in another trey by Eric Williams and a 57-37 advantage with 10:32 remaining.
The Bears outscored Roanoke 35-7 from the 4-minute mark of the first half until Willams' final triple.
The Maroons got as close as six on two separate instances down the stretch, but Eric Williams and McTamney made enough free throws to ice an impressive lid-lifter.
McTamney finished 7-of-16 from the floor and made three of his five 3-point attempts for a game-high 20 points. Edwards, meanwhile, was all over the stat sheet with 15 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists, numbers matched by senior Zack Muredda. Eric Williams scored his 14 points on only six field-goal attempts, making four of them and hitting two of his three efforts from distance.
Gordon had seven points and three rebounds in his first career start, while Hughes supplied seven points on a 3-for-3 night from the floor in his collegiate debut. Sophomore Lucas Olshevski made both of his shots for four points.
The Bears made just a tick under half of their field-goal attempts, shooting 49 percent overall (24-of-49) and 7-of-14 from 3-point range. Roanoke was 43.5 percent from the field but only made five of 22 from distance (22.7 percent). Ursinus held a slim 33-32 rebounding edge but committed 18 turnovers to the Maroons' 15.
Josh Freund, a preseason All-American, led Roanoke with 14 points and 16 rebounds.