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ELIZABETHTOWN COLLEGE MEN'S BASKETBALL
Elizabethtown Ends Season at 15-10 with 74-69 Conference Semifinal Loss to Widener
CHESTER, Pa. --- Top-seeded Widener University scraped past fourth-seeded Elizabethtown College with a 74-69 win in the semifinal round of the Commonwealth Conference playoffs in Chester Wednesday night. Etown concludes its 2005-06 season with a 15-10 overall record, while Widener improves to 21-4 overall with the win and advances to host the conference championship game Saturday against the winner of tonight’s Messiah-Albright contest.
Etown carried a 27-25 lead into halftime. Neither team ever led by more than six points over the course of the game. The Blue Jays held their largest lead of the game with 13:39 to go in the first half when a layup by Michael Schatzmann (Paradise, PA/Pequea Valley) put Etown up 12-6. Widener never got ahead by more than five points. The Pioneers got a five-point lead at 13:13 left in the second half when a Malcolm Thomas three-pointer put Widener ahead 44-39. Widener went up by five again with 2:34 left in the game when a Brooke Tidswell layup gave the Pioneers a 64-59 advantage.
By the time 40 seconds were left in the game, Widener clung to a 67-65 edge when a Chad Piersol (Elverson, PA/Owen J. Roberts) layup for Etown cut the Pioneers’ lead to two points. Essien Ford made one of two free throw attempts with 33 seconds left to extend Widener’s lead to 68-65, and a pair of Tidswell free throws with 17 seconds left gave Widener another five point lead, 70-65. Schatzmann hit a pair of free throws with 14 seconds on the clock to cut the Widener advantage to 70-67. Brandon Blakey was fouled one second later, and he hit both of his free throws to put Widener up 72-67. With eight seconds left in the game, Schatzmann made a layup for Etown to cut the lead to 72-69. Tidswell was fouled one second later, and he made both of his free throws to put the Pioneers ahead 74-69. Etown then brought the ball down-court and missed a three-point attempt, and the clock ticked down to zero four seconds later.
Over the course of the game, Widener out-rebounded Etown 32-24. Elizabethtown turned the ball over just 11 times, while Widener had 17 turnovers. Widener shot 29-for-43 (67.4%) from the free throw line, while Elizabethtown shot 80.0% from the line but hit 12 of just 15 free throw attempts. The Blue Jays shot 7-for-15 (46.7%) from three-point range, and Widener made 7 of 13 (53.8%) attempts from behind the arc. Etown hit 25 of 53 shots (47.2%) from the field, while Widener went 19-for-36 (52.8%) from the field.
Brian Schreiber (Mechanicsburg, PA/East Pennsboro) led Elizabethtown in scoring with 22 points, and he shot 8-for-12 from the field, 3-for-5 from three-point range and 3-for-4 from the free throw line. Piersol added 14 points as he shot 6-for-10 from the field and 2-for-3 from downtown. Schatzmann finished the game with 11 points. Schatzmann, Brian Schreiber and Brad Schreiber (Mechicsburg, PA/East Pennsboro) all led Etown in rebounds with three each. Brad Schreiber added nine points.
Kris Clarkson tied for Widener’s team lead in scoring with 23 points, and he led the Pioneers in rebounds with in and in assists with three. He shot 7-for-12 from the field and 9-for-13 from the free throw line. Ford also scored 23 points for Widener as he shot 7-for-12 from the field, 5-for-7 from downtown and 4-for-7 from the free throw line. Tidswell added 12 points for Widener from off the bench as he shot 2-for-2 from the field and 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Thomas tallied 10 points on the night as he went 3-for-6 from the field, 2-for-4 from three-point range and 2-for-3 from the charity stripe.
At Chester, PA