COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Surrendering an extended run left the Ursinus College men's basketball team in a double-digit hole in the first half of Saturday's Centennial Conference clash with Dickinson. A long stretch of defense-fueled dominance in the second half gave the Red Devils a taste of their own medicine.
Ryan Hughes led all scorers with 27 points and got a combined 47 from running mates Ryan McTamney (25) and George Gordon (22) to power the Bears to a come-from-behind victory, 86-67, over a Dickinson side that was lights out from long range in the first half but found itself unable to get anything going against a locked-in defense.
Hughes netted 17 of his game-leading markers in the first half, when the Red Devils (1-12, 1-5) piled up six 3-pointers and led by 11 late in the period. From there, it was an Ursinus onslaught.
The Bears (8-5, 3-3) ended the opening period on a 13-2 run and, after trailing by five early in the second half, turned the rest of the afternoon into a fireworks show. Gordon (16), McTamney (14), and Hughes (10) combined for all but two points as Ursinus outscored the Red Devils, 42-23, and forced 10 turnovers. After starting out 6-for-8 from distance, Dickinson finished just 3-for-15.
The Bears came out firing, with an ultra-aggressive Hughes carrying the home side scoring eight of the team's first 11 points and dropping in a pair of 3-pointers. A left-wing triple by Matt McMahon, on an assist from Bruce Edwards, stretched the advantage to 16-8, and a strong drive by Hughes continued to keep the Red Devils at arm's length as Ursinus led 23-16 around the midway point of the frame.
Dickinson got red-hot, however, flipping the script with an 18-4 spurt headlined by a trio of Ryan Devine 3-pointers from the same spot on the right side of the arc. The Red Devils, who came in shooting under 29 percent from long range, nailed six of their first eight from behind the arc.
Ursinus found itself in a double-digit quagmire as Chris Bates made three baskets on the interior to put the visitors ahead, 42-31, at the 3:56 mark of the half. The Bears needed no more than that to get right back in it, breaking off a 13-2 run to go into the break knotted at 44. Edwards scored on a nice inside seal, and a twisting drive by Hughes resulted in a three-point play that cut it to 44-38. Three straight free throws by Jimmy Kpadeh and a triple by McTamney capped the period.
Despite the early eight-point advantage, it was mostly due to a 17-point outburst from Hughes that Ursinus managed to remain in the running at intermission. McTamney came on late to supply 11 points in support of his same-named star.
Lucas Olshevski made his presence felt early in the second half, grabbing a rebound while being fouled to keep a possession alive and then tapping another carom out to Hughes, who quickly drove and bounced a pass to Olshevski for a lay-up to tie it at 53. After a series of turnovers, Hughes passed ahead for a wide-open McTamney, who connected on a transition 3 to give Ursinus a 56-53 edge with 12:43 to play.
Left alone, Gordon banged home a 3 from the top of the key to expand the margin, then made one of two at the line after a strong drive to open up a 62-55 advantage just past the 10-minute mark. After a Dickinson basket, Gordon canned a baby hook, and McTamney hit two at the stripe before cutting to the rack and finishing a pass from Kpadeh to make it 68-57 with 7:29 on the timer.
With the Bears continuing to roll, Gordon buried back-to-back triples in the final minutes to put a bow on a stirring second half.
After going 4-for-17 in a loss at Gettysburg earlier in the week, Hughes finished 10-for-15 from the floor, adding eight rebounds and four assists. McTamney grabbed seven boards, while Gordon was 8-of-11 and made all three of his 3-pointers; Gordon scored 42 points on 17-of-24 shooting this week.
Edwards handed out a game-high five assists for the Bears, and Kpadeh finished with five points and four assists.
The Bears continue CC play at Muhlenberg on Wednesday.