By The Daily Item
HUNTINGDON -- Desperately needing a victory to keep its playoff hopes alive, Susquehanna fell at Juniata 74-63 Wednesday evening at Kennedy Sports & Recreation Center.
Susquehanna (9-15, 5-8 LC) was led by freshman Brandon Hedley, who scored a game-high 23 points, 15 of which came from beyond the arc. Junior center Harley Sellinger chipped in 11 points, six rebounds, three steals and an assist. Freshman Josh Miller joined in double figures with 10 points and also grabbed six boards.
The Crusaders shot 36.1 percent from the field while the Eagles (16-8, 8-5) shot 51 percent from the field and went 16-for-22 from the charity stripe (72.7 percent). Every starter for Juniata finished in double figures with Jeremy Hays leading the way with 15 points as the Eagles swept the regular-season season series.
In the first half, SU found itself down 5-0 less than two minutes into the action before a layup by Miller got the Crusaders on the board. Unfortunately, the Eagles countered with a 7-1 spurt to jump ahead 12-4 with 13:44 left.
A three-point play by Sellinger brought the Crusaders within five (12-7) but Juniata responded with a 5-0 run to increase its lead to 19-7.The Eagles stormed out to 15-point margin (32-17) before Wally Rutecki ending the SU scoring slump with a layup with a little over three minutes remaining in the half.
In the beginning of the second half, Mike Perillo hit a jumper to cut the Juniata advantage to seven (40-33) at 17:56. The junior guard hit a pair of free throws and Hedley made two layups to get within five (46-41) with 13:18 remaining.
A Sellinger layup with less than 10 minutes to go kept SU within five (52-47) but that was the closest the Crusaders got the rest of the way, as Juniata used a 14-7 run to close out the contest.