Men's Basketball Dodges Bullets

Men's Basketball Dodges Bullets

GETTYSBURG, Pa. – The Ursinus College men's basketball team outlasted Gettysburg in its last CC game of 2018 by a score of 70-62 as the Bears protected a slim lead in the second half at the Battlefield.

Ursinus (5-4, 3-2) snapped a two-game skid with a solid effort against a potent Gettysburg squad. The Bears were led by a balanced scoring threat as five players hit in double figures. Junior Ryan McTamney bounced back from a tough game against No. 23 Swarthmore as he racked up a career-high 18 rebounds (13 in the first half) to go along with 14 points. Those 18 caroms are the most by an Ursinus player since Dan Luciano gathered in 19 in a game against Swarthmore in 2002.

Senior Eric Williams Jr. scored 14 points and extended his consecutive games streak with a 3-pointer to 28. Sophomore George Gordon also added 14 points.

The other two Bears in double digits were sophomore Lucas Olshevski and freshman Ryan Hughes, who each scored 11 points. Olshevski marked a new career high, and the 11 points matched a personal best for Hughes, who second straight start.

It was a game of two contrasting styles of play. The Bears put emphasis in working the ball down low to the basket with 34 points in the paint. On the opposite side, the Bullets (3-7, 2-3) launched 43 three-pointers, only making 10 of them.

Ursinus deployed a tough zone defense, limiting the Bullets to trifecta attempts that didn't fall, just 18 paint points, and only five free-throw attempts. The Bears shot 20-of-25 (80%) from the line. Meanwhile, the first Gettysburg free throw attempts came 27 minutes into the game.

In a contest between the two of the top four scoring teams in the conference, it looked to be a shoot-out in the early stages. The Bears and the Bullets each hit their first three shots from the floor.

But it wasn't so, as shots starting rimming out and caused percentages to fizzle for the rest of the first half. Ursinus took a 26-22 edge after a low-scoring first 20 minutes of play. However, the two squads picked up the scoring in the second half, combining for 84 points.

The Bears held the upper hand in the second frame but the Bullets were lurking just down single digits. Ursinus never wavered even though they it did not completely separate from the struggling Gettysburg side. Gettysburg was within two points at 54-52 on a put-back by Avery Close with 4:09 left.

The Bears responded with an 8-0 run to get some much-needed breathing room. With 3:06 left, Gordon finished off a beautiful dish by McTamney on a big possession out of a timeout. Hughes made a pair of free throws and McTamney got a steal and layup. McTamney then splashed a jumper to extend the lead to 10.

The streak was enough to get past the Bullets as they started to hit long-range shots in the closing minutes.

In the first half, the Ursinus defense held the Bullets to 26.5 percent from the field and 4-of-23 from beyond (17.4%). Gettysburg missed a bunch from downtown as the Bears made it tough to get the ball deep into their zone. The Bears scored 16 points in the paint compared to four for the Bullets.

Eric Williams nailed a straight on 3-pointer to give the Bears their first lead at 13-12 with 13:25 to go in the half.

Hughes finished at the hoop to give the Bears' their largest lead of the half at five points, 24-19. Gettysburg's Danny Duffey made a three and McTamney sank a pair of free throws before the break.

Gettysburg's Andrew Gardiner led the Bullets with 15 points. Their leading scorer, Nick Antolini, scored 13 points with nine rebounds.

The Bears outrebounded the Bullets, 47 to 38, and committed one fewer turnover, 10-9.

Ursinus shot 24-of-58 (41.4%) from the field and 2-of-12 (16.7%) from 3-point range. Gettysburg shot 24-of-71 (33.8%) overall.

The Bears have a few weeks off until they take on No. 4 Hamilton on December 28 at 7 p.m. in their first game of the Land of Magic Classic in Daytona Beach, Florida.