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LATE SURGE PUSHES ETOWN PAST MESSIAH, 64-56; SWEET PACES COMEBACK WIN WITH THIRD STRAIGHT DOUBLE-DOUBLE
ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. --- Mark Sweet (Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville) collected 15 points and 11 rebounds and the Elizabethtown defense held Messiah to 18 second-half points en route to a 64-56 victory in MAC Commonwealth League action on Wednesday. With the win, the Blue Jays improved to 12-4 (6-2 MAC Commonwealth League) and defeated the Falcons for the 17th straight game.
A.J. Beamer (New Holland, Pa./Garden Spot) scored seven points and added five rebounds, five assists and three steals for Etown, which trailed by seven point midway through the second half before coming back to win. Adam Weber (Stroudsburg, Pa./Pocono Mountain) also keyed the victory with 11 points and six rebounds.
David Greenplate led all scorers with 24 points for Messiah while teammate Zach Yoder chipped in with 11. Larry Johnson scored five points and added eight rebounds and a game-high eight assists for the Falcons, who slipped to 9-8 (2-6 MAC Commonwealth).
Messiah took a 38-31 lead into the locker room and led by the same seven-point margin with 11:01 left in the game. Down 51-44, the Blue Jays converted five free throws and got a basket from Sweet to pull even at 51 with 6:42 remaining.
Greenplate answered with a three-point play to put the Falcons back on top, but Sweet and Chris Sattele (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra) scored on consecutive possessions to give the Blue Jays a 55-54 advantage with 4:20 left in regulation.
John Mizener's driving jumper put Messiah on top for the final time at 56-55 with 3:58 remaining. The teams traded empty possessions before Sattele made one of two free throws to tie the game and Beamer scored to put the Jay ahead for good at 58-56 with 1:24 remaining.
Sweet made it 60-56 with a jumper and followed a Messiah miss with two free throws to ice the game with 16 seconds left.
Messiah shot only 21-for-60 (35.0 percent) from the floor on the night, including an 8-for-31 (25.8 percent) performance in the second half. Etown shot 23-for-60 (38.3 percent) from the field for the game.
The Falcons have not beaten the Blue Jays since a 94-58 win in Grantham on January 19, 1991.
Etown returns to action on Saturday, January
30 at Susquehanna University. Game time is 3 p.m.
Three-pointers: Elizabethtown 2-16 (Nikoloff 0-1, Schmoyer 0-1, Cristofoletti 0-1, Unruh 1-4, Beamer 0-3, Renfrow 0-1, Weber 1-5), Messiah 5-18 (Johnson 0-1, Yoder 2-7, Loyer 2-5,snow 0-1, Greenplate 1-3, Mizener 0-1). Rebounds: Elizabethtown 44 (Sweet 11), Messiah 36 (Greenplate 8). Assists: Elizabethtown 12 (Sweet 4), Messiah 15 (Johnson 8). Turnovers: Elizabethtown 17, Messiah 17. Steals: Elizabethtown 11 (Beamer 3), Messiah 4 (Yoder 2). Fouls: Elizabethtown 14, Messiah 19. Technicals: None. Attendance: 500.