Game Recap: Mustangs Hold Off Spartans In 74-70 Thriller

Game Recap: Mustangs Hold Off Spartans In 74-70 Thriller

BLUE BELL, Pa. - The men's basketball team blew a 14-point halftime lead and then needed every point down the stretch to outlast the visiting Spartans of Northampton Community College, 74-70, in a Region XIX contest Tuesday evening.

Trailing 72-70 with 30 seconds remaining, the Spartans inbounded the ball near midcourt. Freshman Michael Samuel took a pass and dribbled down the right side where we was called for traveling.

Northampton then fouled Montgomery's Kevin Woods on the ensuing inbound pass. Woods stepped to the foul line and drained the pair of decisive free throws, helping the Mustangs improve to 9-8 overall, 9-6 in Region XIX and 8-4 in conference play.

Woods was among four Mustangs players who posted double figures on the night. Woods and Ryan Casper each scored 13 points, followed by Harris Griffin and Matt Krewson who each added 12. Woods and Shane Isett dished out 4 assists apiece. Chris Uhrich and Trevino Hall led the way with 6 rebounds apiece.

Thanks to consistent first-half pressure, Montgomery dictated play from the outset and led 39-25 at halftime. But the Spartans rallied behind a strong rebounding effort and actually took the lead in a see-saw second half.

"We played well in the first half, but got a little too complacent in the second and it cost us the lead," Head Men's Basketball Coach Denny Surovec said. "We could have easily packed it in when we fell behind late, but the guys are fighters."

Montgomery led 71-67 late before Northampton pulled within a point thanks to a three-pointer. Following a turnover, the Spartans were poised to take the lead again with under a minute left. But a steal by Griffin and an ensuing foul by Northampton put Griffin on the line. He converted one of two to give the Mustangs a 72-70 lead.

Northampton actually held the edge in field-goal shooting, converting 47.3 percent on 26-of-55 shooting, including 5 of 17 from beyond the arc. Montgomery shot 36.7 percent from the field (22 of 60), including 6 of 20 from three-point range. Both teams shot over 68 percent from the foul line. The Spartans held a 40-24 edge in the rebounding department, but Northampton committed 20 turnovers.

"We took another big step tonight in getting our season on track," Surovec said.

The men's team is back on the road Saturday afternoon with a 3 pm game at Luzerne County Community College.