COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College men's basketball team came out on the short end of a Centennial Conference barn-burner with Dickinson, suffering an 80-78 setback when a 3-pointer by Eric Williams Jr. was off the mark at the buzzer.
Eric Williams made almost everything he took on Saturday, scoring 19 of his game-high 29 points after halftime and at times single-handedly keeping Ursinus (13-10, 10-6) in contention. His final heave came up empty, however, as the Red Devils (14-9, 11-5) moved into a tie with Johns Hopkins for second place in the league standings.
Despite the loss, Ursinus clinched its first CC playoff berth since 2010 when Muhlenberg fell to Gettysburg.
A high-scoring, up-and-down thriller evolved into a competing fireworks display between Eric Williams and Dickinson's Elijah Wright, who matched him with 29 points of his own. Wright had 17 points in the second half, including eight unanswered during a personal run that included a three-point play and a 3-pointer and pushed the Red Devils out to a 73-63 lead with 6:28 to go.
Back came the Bears, as senior Matt Knowles buried back-to-back triples and Williams splashed one of his own to make it 77-76 with 1:55 remaining. Despite some chances, the home side was never able to wrest the lead back from the Red Devils.
Michael Jurzynski's corner 3 with the shot clock winding down made it 80-76 before junior Remi Janicot's tip-in halved the margin at the 1:10 mark. After a stop on the defensive end, Knowles' potential tying jumper was halfway down before spinning out, and Moses Romocki grabbed the rebound. Romocki was long on the front end of a 1-and-1 with 17.6 seconds left, giving the Bears another opportunity after a timeout. Ursinus' play broke down, and Williams was forced to hoist an NBA-range effort from the top of the key that bounced off the rim.
Wright finished 10 for 18 from the field for Dickinson, which went 13 for 27 (48.1 percent) from 3-point range and shot 51.9 percent overall (28 for 54). Jurzynski produced 11 points, with Romocki, Bryce Allen, and Justus Melton chipping in eight apiece. The Red Devils took full advantage of Ursinus' miscues, converting 10 turnovers into 20 points, and dished out 18 assists to 11 turnovers of their own.
Williams made 10 of 15 from the floor and hit four 3-pointers for Ursinus. During one stretch of the second half, he scored 12 straight points for the Bears, a personal flurry capped with a tough mid-range jumper at the 9:16 mark.
Knowles came alive after intermission to score 16 points on Senior Day, while junior Joseph LoStracco and sophomore Matt Williams added six points each. The Bears shot an even 50.0 percent for the afternoon (29 for 58) and made 10 of 23 from 3-point range (43.5 percent). Ursinus trailed 46-42 after a back-and-forth first half that featured four ties and seven lead changes.
The men's basketball team hosts Muhlenberg on Wednesday, February 15 before closing the regular season at Gettysburg next Saturday.