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ELIZABETHTOWN COLLEGE MEN'S BASKETBALL
Widener Upsets Elizabethtown, 72-55, in Commonwealth Conference Opener
ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. --- Widener picked up its first win of the season with a commanding 72-55 victory over 15th-ranked Elizabethtown in the Commonwealth Conference season opener for both teams. Elizabethtown dropped to 3-2 overall, and now, only five games into the season, the Blue Jays have lost more than one game at home for the first time in three years. Widener improved to 1-4 overall with the win.
Etown got an early lead in the first half, but a layup and a three-pointer by Widener's Matt Sheaffer (Doylestown, PA/Central Bucks West) tied the game at 5-5 by 16:20. Elizabethtown would never hold the lead again for the rest of the game. By 14:26, Widener had cruised out to an 11-5 lead, capping a nine point run on a jumper by Markiese Merceir (Philadelphia, PA/Mastbaum). Widener increased its lead to 20-11 by 10:25 as Sheaffer increased his early scoring total to 12 points on a jumper then. By the time the first half was over, he had 14 points and Widener held a 27-19 lead.
Widener held the Blue Jays to just 30.0% (nine-for-30) shooting from the field in the first half, while the Pioneers shot 48.0% (12-for-25).
Beginning at 18:47, Widener embarked on an 11 point run sparked by a pair of Sheaffer three-pointers in 26 seconds. By 16:20, Widener held a 41-23 lead following a Casey Stitzel (Quakertown, PA/Lansdale Catholic) three-pointer. From then on, Elizabethtown could not get closer than 13 points to Widener.
Etown shot 41.2% (14-for-34) from the field in the second half, but Widener's shooting improved to 65.2% (15-for-23) in the second half. For the game, Widener shot six-for-12 from three-point range, while Etown shot just two-for-14 from downtown. The Blue Jays also shot just seven-for-14 from the free throw line, while Widener went 12-for-17 from the charity stripe.
Chad Heller (New Holland, PA/Garden Spot) led Etown in scoring with 15 points, and Brian Loftus (Doylestown, PA/Central Bucks West) added 14 points for the Bleu Jays. Ian Daecher (Lititz, PA/Warwick) led Etown in rebounding with seven.
Sheaffer ended up leading Widener with 20 points, and Kris Clarkson (Philadelphia, PA/Overbrook) scored 18 points for Widener and had four dunks. Merceir led Widener with seven rebounds and he scored 13 points and had six assists.
Elizabethtown will return to action on the road Saturday, December 7 against conference rival Susquehanna in a 3:00 p.m.
At Thompson Gymnasium, Elizabethtown, Pa.