COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The growth and maturation of the Ursinus College men's basketball team's more inexperienced players continues to go on display. Combined with a steady dose of veteran scoring, it's becoming a potent formula.
Sophomore Lucas Olshevski poured in a career-high 22 points and freshman Ryan Hughes posted personal bests in points (17), rebounds (7), and assists (8) as the Bears rode a lopsided first half to a 101-84 victory over Rosemont in its first game of the new year – and the last of its non-conference slate. Junior Ryan McTamney added 20 points and senior Eric Williams Jr. scored 18, with sophomore George Gordon (10) making it five in double figures.
Ursinus (6-6) piled up season highs in field-goal percentage (59.4) and assists (27) in going over triple figures for the second time in three outings.
The Bears struck early and often with a blistering opening salvo, making six consecutive field goals after McTamney misfired on a 3-point attempt on their opening possession. Hughes netted the first five points of the night for the home side before Eric Williams and McTamney drained back-to-back triples, followed by a put-back from Olshevski and a McTamney steal-and-score that opened up a 20-9 advantage at the 13:44 mark of the first half.
Hughes' second trey stretched the margin to 27-11, and Olshevski's consecutive buckets – the second a three-point play – made it a 20-point game at 47-27 with 3:40 to go. The lead ballooned to its largest state at 28 points when Hughes corralled an offensive rebound and dished off to Olshevski for an easy lay-in and a 55-27 bulge at the 1:19 mark.
Eric Williams hit an early 3-pointer in the second half to make it 60-36, but Rosemont (4-8) made things interesting with a 14-3 burst that chopped the spread down to 63-50 just shy of the 15-minute mark. Williams canned a pair of free throws and senior Zack Muredda banged home a 3-pointer to restore an 18-point cushion, and the Ravens never got closer than 12 the rest of the way.
Muredda was a steady floor general for the Bears, racking up seven assists to go with eight points and six rebounds. One of his dimes was a beautiful feed inside to junior Jake O'Neill, who slammed it home for a 31-19 lead just past the midway point of the first frame. Muredda made both of his 3-point efforts for Ursinus, which was 12-for-25 from long range and 38-of-64 overall.
Hughes connected on his first four shots to set the tone for a career night, and Olshevski was a robust 9-of-11 from the floor. McTamney finished 9-for-18 and added eight rebounds, four assists, and four steals to his stat line.
With five more 3-pointers, Williams moved into a tie with Ursinus Hall of Famer Mike McGarvey for fourth in Centennial Conference history with 272 for his career. With his next two long balls, he will jump up to third in the conference annals.
The Bears held a 39-28 edge on the glass and converted 21 Rosemont turnovers into 36 points on the other end.
Keith Blassingale led the Ravens with 21 points, with Jalil Myers and Kahleel Henry tossing in 11 apiece.
The men's basketball team takes the weekend off before hitting the road to face McDaniel next Tuesday.