CHESTERTOWN, Md. – The Ursinus College men's basketball team took a big step towards a Centennial Conference playoff berth on Wednesday night, scorching the nets on the way to a crucial 80-66 victory at Washington College.
Ryan McTamney led all scorers with 26 points and added 10 rebounds for the Bears (12-10, 7-8), who put two games of separation between themselves and the Shoremen and remained a game ahead of Gettysburg for the fifth and final postseason slot. Ursinus completed a season sweep of Washington College for the fourth time in five seasons.
McTamney was 11 of 13 from the field for a white-hot Ursinus offense that shot 62.0 percent from the field and made 8 of 13 (61.5 percent) from beyond the arc. It was the Bears' most efficient shooting performance since a 100-92 victory over Eastern in 2014, and their highest field-goal percentage in a conference contest since going 62.5 percent from the floor in a win against Johns Hopkins in 2010.
McTamney, quite literally, could not miss in the second half, going a perfect 8-for-8 from the field and scoring 20 of his game-high output after the break. In the process, he moved into the top-10 on the team's all-time scoring charts with 1,336 career points.
George Gordon was almost as effective, finishing 8 for 10 overall en route to a 17-point night. Bruce Edwards produced 15 points and six rebounds, while Ryan Hughes filled up the score sheet with 12 points, nine rebounds, and six assists. Jimmy Kpadeh established a new career high with 10 assists.
After missing a shot and turning the ball over on their first two trips, the Bears scored the game's first seven points. Five of them came from Kpadeh, who drove the lane for a bucket and nailed a 3-pointer before Washington College (7-15, 5-10) responded with its own 12-0 run.
Knotted at 20 apiece, Matt McMahon handed Ursinus the lead with a 3-pointer, and Edwards followed with one of three treys on the night.
The Bears took a 37-34 edge into halftime, but Dallas Marshall's 3-pointer put the Shoremen back on top, 39-37, less than two minutes into the second stanza. The teams went back and forth until McTamney put Ursinus ahead to stay, knocking down back-to-back jumpers – both on assists from Hughes – as part of a personal 8-0 run that gave the visitors some much-needed breathing room around the 13-minute mark.
Hughes' 3-pointer expanded the margin into double-digit territory for the first time just past the midway point of the half. Washington College rallied to within 63-57, but McTamney drilled a dagger 3-pointer with just under four minutes to play, and the Shoremen never truly threatened again.
While they continued to blaze the Cain Center nets, the Bears never allowed the Shoremen to do the same. Ursinus limited the hosts to 34.2 percent from the field, and Washington College was only 7 for 25 from 3-point range. The Bears assisted on 23 of their 31 made field goals, helping to offset a 17-5 disadvantage in the turnover count.
The victory was a massive one for the Bears, who had been 3-6 on the road and came in off a difficult loss at Dickinson over the weekend. Ursinus goes into the final three games of the regular season with a one-game edge on Gettysburg, with whom they split the head-to-head series. The Bears have a chance to add a massive tiebreaker chip to their ledger when No. 7 Johns Hopkins comes to town for a Senior Day showdown on Saturday.