GETTYSBURG, Pa. – Ursinus College men's basketball did everything it could to dig out of a huge hole, but a spirited second-half rally came up a few shots short as the Bears conceded a 78-66 Centennial Conference decision to Gettysburg at the Battlefield.
George Gordon posted career highs with 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead four players in double figures for the Bears (7-5, 2-3), who were left chasing the rest of the night after a run of 19 consecutive points by the Bullets late in the first half. Ursinus chiseled a 25-point second-half deficit down to five, but the climb proved too steep.
Gordon put Ursinus in front, 7-3, with a dunk and a put-back inside the opening three minutes, and the majority of the first half was a see-saw affair in which neither side led by more than six until Gettysburg sprinted away with a blistering stretch of shooting.
It was only a two-point game after McTamney's tough take and two free throws from Lucas Olshevski with 7:38 to play in the first half, but soon found themselves buried under a Bullets avalanche. Gettysburg (9-3, 3-2) caught fire from the outside, banging in five 3-pointers during a 19-0 run over the next five minutes that had the hosts doubling up Ursinus at 42-21. The orange and blue scored on five straight possessions to open the game-turning run, and Alex Leder banged in back-to-back triples to cap it.
The Bears gave themselves a glimmer of hope by scoring the final six points of the half, going into the break down by 15.
The momentum fizzled out with the halftime break, though, and Gettysburg needed less than five minutes to open up a 56-31 margin as Leder polished off a 10-1 spurt with another 3-pointer.
McTamney did his best to bring Ursinus back into contention late, finishing a strong drive and knocking down a pair at the stripe before Ryan Hughes finished a twisting drive down the lane to make it 62-52 with 5:27 left on the clock. Hughes got the visitors within single digits for the first time in the second as he banked in a hanging double-clutch runner.
The Bears caught a big break after a Gettysburg bucket, when the Bullets had a pass to a wide-open man down court deflected for a turnover. In the ensuing chaos, McTamney found himself left alone on the right wing and buried a 3-pointer, slicing the margin to 64-57 with 3:32 to go.
After a pair of Bullets free throws, Gordon swished a triple from the right corner to pull within 66-60. Ursinus missed a couple chances to draw even closer as Hughes' jumper rimmed in and out and McTamney was unable to connect on a short jump hook in the lane, and Gettysburg missed three of four at the line to keep the Bears' hopes alive.
Jimmy Kpadeh found Gordon for an alley-oop lay-up with a sensational pass to make it 67-62, and Ursinus nearly turned the Bullets over on the other end. After a timeout, Alex Leder dropped in a crucial 3-pointer with a minute remaining to restore an 8-point lead.
Kpadeh came right back with a lay-up on the other end and the Bullets were called for an offensive foul on the ensuing inbounds pass, but McTamney's corner jumper went begging and Danny Duffey swished two free throws to effectively put the contest to bed.
Gordon was a hyper-efficient 9-for-13 from the field, the only Ursinus player to have much success on a night in which the Bears shot just 33.8 percent overall. McTamney finished with 14 points, while Bruce Edwards and Hughes each landed on 11.
Leder had a game-high 27 for the Bullets, including a 6-for-8 effort from 3, while Duffey produced 15 points and Avery Close (12 points, 10 rebounds) secured a double-double.
The Bears come back home to take on Dickinson on Saturday.