By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
WILLIAMSPORT -- As soon as Susquehanna coach Jim Reed saw Eleni Dimou's free throw go in, he let out a little sigh of relief.
The good shot from the line put the Crusaders up by four points with roughly 17 seconds remaining and most likely, all the Susquehanna players felt a little more relaxed out on the court too.
Eastern wasted too much time in those final few seconds and put up a three at the buzzer, only to see it come up short as Susquehanna staged a nice comeback inside Lamade Gynmasium at Lycoming College for a 53-49 victory in the Warrior's Hoops for Hounds Basketball Tournament.
Susquehanna plays MCLA this afternoon in the tournament championship.
"At that point in time (with 17 seconds left), there was only going to be one possession left for them and when we got up four, then all we just needed to do, even if they score, just get the ball inbounds and that's what happened," Reed said.
Susquehanna (4-6) rallied from a 12-point deficit late in the first half against Eastern (4-7). It was roughly halfway through the second half where the Crusaders' defense started making stops.
After holding an 8-point lead with 13:40 to go, the Eagles went eight consecutive possessions without scoring. During that span, it was Susquehanna's offense that was putting up points, going on a 9-0 run to take the first lead, 44-43, since the Crusaders led 13-12 with 13:43 left in the first half.
Susquehanna went nearly six minutes in the first half before scoring between baskets.
"When we scouted them, we saw that they were really good (on) rebounds, so we had to get the boards," Susquehanna's Mariah Monahan said. "We knew that they were 3-point shooters too, so as long as we were contesting shots, we knew that they probably wouldn't drive because they're more of a shooting team."