BY KEVIN JONES – ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
Susquehanna’s men’s basketball earned their record-tying twenty-second win of the season on Feb. 20 against Elizabethtown, 83-69, to reach the playoffs.
Susquehanna coach Frank Marcinek said: “It feels great. Making the playoffs is one of our goals every year.”
He added, “I am proud and happy with my players, but I am not satisfied yet.”
Senior guard Josh Miller agreed, saying that he is happy the team made the playoffs but hopes the team can win the Landmark Conference Championship.
Susquehanna started the game strong jumping out to an 8-0 lead with 18:29 left in the first period. Their biggest lead in the period came with 15:25 left in the period when they were up 20-14.
By the end of the first period, Susquehanna led 50-36.
Susquehanna limited the damage in the second period as both teams scored 33 points. The Crusaders pulled away with the win.
Marcinek said: “We had a great start to the game. We were very efficient, offensively, and built a comfortable lead.”
Miller scored 28 points and made seven rebounds.
He was 10-13 from the field 5-7 when it came to 3-point shots and a perfect 3-3 from the free-throw line.
Junior guard Steven Weidlich also had a strong game. He was getting close to a double-double, scoring 19 points and 9 rebounds and going 6-16 in field goal range and 3-11 when it came to 3-point shots during the game.
The Crusader/Justine McCarty
Along with Miller, Weidlich was perfect from the free-throw line, going 4-4.
Altogether, Susquehanna had a 73.7 free throw percentage compared to the 77.8 percent Elizabethtown shot.
Susquehanna’s bench did a decent job scoring 19 points, but they could not keep up with Elizabethtown’s bench, who scored 48 points.
The win propelled the Crusaders into the postseason on a high-note and earned them the right to play in the Landmark Conference Semifinals.
On Feb. 24, Susquehanna won their first playoff game against Scranton at home 77-72.
Susquehanna had a strong first half giving them a 41-25 lead.
Scranton outscored Susquehanna in the second period 47 -36.
Susquehanna built up a 9-0 lead with 17:23 left in the game.
Senior Josh Miller shot a double-double in the game with 21 points and 15 rebounds.
Miller was 7-15 from the field and 2-5 when it came to 3-point shots and was 5-6 from the free-throw line.
Senior guard Brandon Hedley also had a strong game with 13 points and two rebounds.
From the free-throw line, the Crusaders went 18-25 for a field goal percentage of 72 percent.
Susquehanna went 5-18 for a percentage of 27.8 percent, and Scranton went 5-21 with a percentage of 23.8.
Both teams had a solid performance, with Susquehanna’s bench scoring 20 points while Scranton’s bench scored 22.
Marcinek will get the Crusaders prepared to play the biggest game of their careers when they play the Cardinals on Saturday, Feb. 27.