COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Senior Eric Williams Jr. spearheaded a 49-point second-half Ursinus outburst which allowed the Bears to pull away from McDaniel, 86-58, at a lively Helfferich Hall.
Ursinus (14-7, 11-3) jumped into a three-way tie for first place in the Centennial with their 7th win in a row. The Bears, Swarthmore and Johns Hopkins are all three games clear of fourth place Muhlenberg after the Blue Jays dropped a game to the Mules on Saturday.
Helping the Bears get to the top of the league on the night was sharpshooter Williams. He entered the second half with just four points but ended the game with 25 points. The sniper found his stroke in the last frame on his way to draining seven second-half 3-pointers. Williams shot 9-of-14 from the floor and 7-of-12 from 3-point territory. It was his third game of the season with a season-high seven triples. He now sits just two 3-pointers away from 300 made shots from distance.
Ursinus continued to show its fire power as the top offense in the league with the 86-point output which was above their conference-leading 79.8 points per game entering the contest. The Bears shot a sizzling 49.2-percent from the floor for the game.
Alongside Williams, three Ursinus starters registered double-figure nights. Freshman Ryan Hughes stuffed the stat sheet with 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Junior Shane Stark scored 13 points and collected five rebounds. CC leading scorer, junior Ryan McTamney added 12 points.
From beyond the arc, the Bears are among the top-20 in all of Division III in accuracy. Ursinus proved just that and some as they made 11 triples on 23 attempts (47.8%) on the night which was above their 40.6 percent mark.
Up by seven points at the break, the Bears charged out to a 15-point lead with under 14 minutes to play. Buckets were dropping all over the place. Back-to-back deep balls from Williams and a McTamney and-one gave the Bears a comfortable advantage.
Ursinus tightened up on defense in the second half, allowing just 28 Green Terror points which allowed the Bears to extend the lead to as much as 30 points with a few minutes remaining.
The Bears started on a tear, going 10-of-12 on their first field goals then hit a cold spell in the later stages of the first half. Ursinus was up 21-11 seven and a half minutes into the game then a Green Terror run rallied back to get it to 33-30 with 1:28 to play.
At the first half buzzer, senior Zack Muredda powered through the contact in the paint to give the Bears a 37-30 lead at the half. Despite being outshot 56-percent to below 35-percent for the half, the Green Terror were within an arm's length in due part to the free throw line. McDaniel went 10-of-12 from the stripe in the first half.
McDaniel (6-15, 2-12) struggled to find an offensive rhythm on the night. Caleb Johnson scored a team-high 21 points on 9-of-11 from the field. Braden Caldwell was the only other double-digit scorer. Caldwell ended with 12 points on 1-of-8 shooting, 10 of his points came from the free throw line.
The Green Terror went 18-of-52 (34.6%) overall, 6-of-18 (33.3%) from beyond the arc and 16-of-21 (76.2%) from the line.
Ursinus turned the ball over just nine times, compared to McDaniel's 16 miscues. The Bears outebounded the Green Terror, 37 to 34.
Ursinus looks to extend their win streak to eight games when they host Washington College Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.