GRANTHAM, Pa. – The Ursinus College men's basketball team clawed back to overcome a 12-point deficit in the second half, but an 11-0 run in the final three minutes doomed the Bears as they fell 79-69 to Messiah in the hosts' Tip-Off Tournament championship game.
Ursinus (1-1) battled back to eventually take a 69-68 lead with 2:55 remaining in the game after trailing for the majority of the afternoon. Senior guard Eric Williams Jr. hit a 3-pointer to give the Bears the lead, their first since less than seven minutes into the contest.
Messiah (2-0) held the Bears in check down the stretch and went on a crucial game-winning run in crunch time. Colin Sareyka accounted for seven of the 11 Falcon points to close out the game in the final three minutes.
Sareyka had a big game, pouring in 38 points to down the Bears on the Falcons' home floor. Sareyka hit on 14 of his 28 shots from the field and was hot from three-point range, nailing 6-of-12 from the arc.
Ursinus was led by junior Ryan McTamney, who scored 21 points to make it back-to-back 20-point performances to open the season. The combo guard went 9-of-22 from the field but couldn't find his shot from beyond, going 1-of-12. McTamney also chipped in seven boards and to go with team highs in assists (3) and steals (3).
Junior forward Shane Stark recorded a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, pulling down six offensive boards in a nice bounce back after being held scoreless in the season opener. Eric Williams hit a pair of late 3's and added 14 points as the third Bear to record a double-digit outing.
Out of the gates, Messiah went on a 11-2 run in the first three and half minutes. Sareyka hit on two early threes and added a layup in the spurt.
The Bears responded and eventually took a 21-19 lead at the 10:22 mark when freshman Ryan Hughes made a 3-pointer. Hughes chipped in nine points off the bench for the Bears.
Ursinus held the edge to the 6:35 mark when Sareyka delivered another 3 to get the Falcons a 27-26 lead. Messiah then pushed its lead to 42-33 at the break.
The Falcons stretched their advantage to as much as 12 points in the second half but the Bears trimmed it to six (55-49) at 11:57 when McTamney made a pair of free throws.
Back and forth the teams went until the Bears got the game to four points and eventually even closer. A big 3-pointer from Eric Williams, on an assist from McTamney, got the Bears within a point with less than seven minutes to play. But Sareyka was too much as the Falcons hung on for the hardware.
Messiah's Zach McDonough and Josh Darville scored 12 and 10 points, respectively. Darvile snatched 13 rebounds and collected three steals for the Falcons. Matt Glogowski came down with 10 rebounds.
The Bears shot 39.1 percent overall (27-of-69) and 7-of-31 from 3-point range. Messiah was 41.4% percent from the field and 35.7 percent from distance (10-of-28) Ursinus held a 49-42 rebounding edge and committed one more turnover than Messiah (13-12).
The Bears head to another early season tournament on Friday when they take on St. Lawrence in the Hilton Scranton Invitational at the University of Scranton at 5:30 p.m.