The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

College Sports

February 12, 2012

Men's basketball: Balanced Crusaders clinch playoff berth

SELINSGROVE -- Susquehanna controlled its own destiny for the Landmark Conference playoffs, needing to win final three home games to clinch a berth.

The first two of those games came this weekend and things couldn't have gone more smoothly for the Crusaders.

So smoothly in fact, next Saturday's home finale with rival Juniata is for seeding purposes only as Susquehanna has already wrapped up a playoff berth.

Four Susquehanna players scored in double figures as the Crusaders beat Catholic 80-71 on Saturday afternoon at O.W. Houts Gymnasium.

"The one thing we want to do is not lose at home and we had to protect Pour house," freshman Tony Seldon said. "We knew it was an urgent game for us. We had to win to get in to the playoffs."

Friday night had worked out perfectly for the Crusaders, as Susquehanna beat Goucher and Catholic lost to Juniata, meaning a win over the Cardinals on Saturday clinched a berth in the league playoffs.

"Obviously, the last couple of weekends didn't go the way we wanted it to. (Susquehanna had dropped three straight on the road entering Friday night). We have a lot of confidence playing at home and we knew what we had to do," Susquehanna senior guard Spenser Spencer said. "We were really excited and focused all week in practice and it showed this weekend."

Susquehanna (14-9 overall, 8-5 LC) has one more league-game remaining, a home game next Saturday with rival Juniata that will determine playoff seedings. Catholic drops to 16-8, 6-7.

Despite the fact the Crusaders led the whole game, that didn't mean that there were not points in the contest where the Cardinals had their chances.

Maybe Catholic's best shot to get a lead on Susquehanna came at the beginning of the second half, where foul trouble and the Cardinals' improved play at the end of the first half had Susquehanna coach Frank Marcinek concerned.

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