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WIDENER STOPS ETOWN, 73-70, IN KEY LEAGUE MATCHUP; JAYS FALL INTO THIRD-PLACE TIE IN MAC COMMONWEALTH
ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. --- Frank DeLuca led four Widener players in double figures with 20 points as the Pioneers knocked off Elizabethtown, 73-70, in MAC Commonwealth League action on Wednesday. With the loss, the Blue Jays fell to 12-6 (6-4 MAC Commonwealth League).
Kevin Cristofoletti (Kendall Park, N.J./Notre Dame) scored a team-high 16 points for Etown while Adam Weber (Stroudsburg, Pa./Pocono Mountain) added 13. A.J. Beamer (New Holland, Pa./Garden Spot) turned in a solid all-around effort with eight points, seven rebounds and a career-high 12 assists.
Mike Siuchta added 15 points for Widener (11-9, 6-4) while Chris Hightower added 13 points and Markiese Merceir posted a double-double with ten points and ten rebounds.
Trailing by eight points midway through the second half, the Blue Jays fought back to take a 57-55 lead on a basket by Mark Sweet (Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville) with 5:58 remaining.
Widener, however, took control of the game with a 10-0 run over the next three-and-a-half minutes. Merceir scored back-to-back baskets to start the run and Siuctha converted two of three free throws to give Widener a 61-57 lead with 3:57 left. Hightower followed with a basket and DeLuca tossed in two free throws to give the visitors an eight-point lead with 2:10 remaining.
Etown pulled with four points in the game's final seconds, but DeLuca converted two more charity tosses to seal the win.
The Blue Jays shot 27-for-60 (45.0 percent) from the field on the night and held the Pioneers to a 26-for-61 (42.6 percent) shooting performance on the night. Widener, however, went to the free throw line 13 more times than the Jays (21-8) and converted ten more foul shots to make the difference in the game.
The win moves Widener into a third-place tie with Elizabethtown in the MAC Commonwealth League. Susquehanna is currently two games behind the Pioneers and Jays.
Etown returns to action on Saturday, February
6 at the University of Scranton. Game time is 3 p.m.
Three-pointers: Widener 5-20 (DeLuca 2-8, Williams 1-4, Johnson 0-2, Siuchta 2-6), Elizabethtown 10-25 (Schmoyer 2-3, Cristofoletti 2-8, Unruh 1-4, Beamer 0-2, Stitzel 1-1, Weber 3-6, Porambo 1-1). Rebounds: Widener 40 (Merceir 10), Elizabethtown 30 (Beamer 7, Sweet 7). Assists: Widener 15 (Williamson 4, Siuchta 4), Elizabethtown 19 (Beamer 12). Turnovers: Widener 13, Elizabethtown 13. Blocked Shots: Widener 4 (Merceir 4), Elizabethtown 3 (Sweet 3). Steals: Widener 4 (Williamson 2), Elizabethtown 6 (Weber 2). Personal Fouls: Widener 10, Elizabethtown 21. Technical Fouls: None. Attendance: 400.