SCRANTON, Pa. – In a high-scoring affair with great shooting, the Ursinus men's basketball team fell to St. Lawrence, 92-83, in the first game of the Hilton Scranton Invitational on the campus of University of Scranton.
Ursinus will play in the consolation game on Sunday against Hartwick, which fell to the host Royals in the nightcap.
St. Lawrence's balanced, high-octane offensive system was difficult to stop as the Saints (1-1) had five scorers with over 11 points. The Saints went on to shoot 52.3% from the field (34-of-65) and 9-of-19 (47.4%) from 3-point territory.
Ursinus (1-2) battled hard, almost matching the Saints with an efficient shooting night of its own. The Bears made 51.7% from the floor (31-of-60) and 9-of-21 (42.9%) from long distance. But the Bears couldn't overcome an early deficit as the Saints got off to a hot shooting start, which was a sign for the rest of the game. St. Lawrence set the tone by hitting 11 of its first 14 shots to take an early lead.
When the Saints didn't make shots, they took advantage of second chances with 12 offensive rebounds. Twenty points came off of extra possessions for St. Lawrence, while the Bears only registered two of those.
The Bears were down double digits in the first half, but a nice run cut the deficit to six points (34-28) after a 3-pointer by senior Eric Williams Jr. Williams was the high point man in the game with 23 points. The guard drained five triples, moving him into sole possession of seventh on the all-time Centennial Conference charts with 235.
St. Lawrence went on to take a 51-36 lead to the break. The Saints went 20-of-35 from the field and 6-of-11 from deep. On the glass, the Saints had seven more total rebounds than the Bears (20-13), three more on the offensive end and four on the defensive side. St. Lawrence took advantage of extra possessions with 13 second-chance points compared to the Bears' two.
Ursinus outscored St. Lawrence in the second half, 47-41, but it wasn't enough to stop the fast-paced Saints. The Bears had spurts when they would cut into the lead, but the Saints would respond right away.
The Bears staged a rally in the second half, trimming the Saints' lead to five points at 64-59 with under 12 minutes to play. Sophomore George Gordon was a spark plug of the bench with eight of his ten points coming in the second half to help ignite the Bears. Gordon went 5-of-6 from the field overall in his first double-figure output of the young season.
Gordon turned the early portion of the second half into his own personal dunk contest, cramming three times in a personal run of eight straight points for Ursinus that trimmed the deficit to 64-58. A free throw by sophomore Bruce Edwards made it a five-point game, and the Bears answered a brief mini-run by the Saints to get within five once more on sophomore Shane Stark's bucket with 8:03 remaining.
From the 7:38 to 6:30 mark in the game, St. Lawrence's Dom DeRigis nailed eight straight points to extend the Saints' lead to 13. DeRigis poured in 15 second-half points on his way to a team-leading 19-point effort off the bench.
Stark had a huge all-around game for Ursinus, combining 18 points with eight rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and a blocked shot. Junior Ryan McTamney scored 14 points. Edwards finished with eight points, four rebounds, and four assists and Hughes produced six points, five assists, and four rebounds.
St. Lawrence's big man Chris Miner added 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting and collected eight rebounds. Forwards Ben Crawford added 14 and Riley Naclerio added 11 with three early 3-pointers. Luke Hicks also added 11 points.
At the free throw line, the Saints went 15-of-26 (57.7%) and the Bears were 12-of-16 (75%). The Saints had 11 turnovers and the Bears had 14. The Saints also outgained the Bears, 36-33, on the glass.