COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College basketball team put its multifaceted offensive arsenal on full display in its 2019 finale, leading wire to wire and using a pair of second-half surges to hold off Washington College for an 84-73 Centennial Conference victory on Wednesday.
All five starters scored in double figures for the Bears (6-3, 2-2). Ryan McTamney and Bruce Edwards led all players with 16 points, and Ryan Hughes was right behind with 15. George Gordon notched a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Jimmy Kpadeh fell one assist shy of one of his own, landing on 13 points and nine assists in a spectacular all-around effort.
Washington College (3-7, 1-3) was only twice on even ground with the high-powered Bears, first when it was 2-2 about 90 seconds after tipoff. Kpadeh polished off a 7-0 run with an NBA-range 3-pointer to make it 9-2, only for the Shoremen to pull themselves back up with their own surge of seven straight.
Matt McMahon's triple with the shot clock expiring gave Ursinus the lead for good, and the hosts continued to push their advantage. After Washington College got back within five at 20-15, the Bears locked down during a four-minute scoreless stretch for the visitors, during which time they were able to extend the lead to 13 on the back of an 8-0 run fueled by six points from McTamney.
Ursinus led by as many as 15 after Hughes dropped in a 3 from the left corner and Gordon knocked down two free throws with 25 seconds to go before halftime.
The Bears were dialed in from the start of the second stanza, opening the frame with buckets on five consecutive possessions. Edwards and McTamney each drained a triple during the burst, and Trey Koehler capped it with his own long-range bomb to open up a 56-34 advantage with only two minutes and change expired.
The huge spread evaporated quickly, however, as the Shoremen embarked on a 13-1 run to get within 10. The visitors had it down to eight midway through the second half before Edwards took the game into his own hands, driving baseline for a tough three-point play and then burying a straightaway 3-pointer. Kpadeh then brought the crowd to its feet, shaking his defender out of his shoes with a series of crossovers before swishing a step-back 3 to restore a 17-point margin with 8:23 to go.
Ursinus pushed its lead out to as many as 21 points before Washington College trimmed it down in the final minutes.
The Bears' balance was evident throughout. Each starter scored between 13 and 16 points and grabbed at least six rebounds, and all five players made at least half of their field-goal attempts. Gordon was 6-for-8 in another hyper-efficient effort, while Kpadeh, Edwards, and McTamney each finished with a trio of 3-pointers. The three treys were a career high for Edwards, who has already established a new personal best for a season with 10.
Kpadeh, who ranks second in the CC in assists per game, established a season high with nine and committed just one turnover.
Koehler made an impact off the bench with five points and four rebounds, and McMahon hit his second 3-pointer of the year.
The Bears shot at least 50 percent from the field for the third game in a row and the sixth time this season, going 31 of 59 (52.5 percent). Ursinus made a season-high 12 triples on 27 attempts, bolstered by an 8-of-14 performance after halftime.
Ursinus dominated the glass, outrebounding the Shoremen by a 46-31 count. Washington College continued to suffer from self-inflicted wounds at the free-throw line, going just 10 for 25 (40.0 percent). Tray Wright had 15 points and five steals to lead the way, with Dallas Marshall adding 11 and Austin Allen 10.
After dropping their first two conference matchups, the Bears close out the year at 2-2 and in a tie for fourth in the league standings.
The Bears take a break for the holidays before ringing in 2020 at a tournament hosted by Catholic University, where they will meet Hobart on January 4 in the nation's capital.