By Nick Forbes Asst. sports editor
The Susquehanna men’s basketball team could not complete a fourth quarter comeback, falling to Moravian 81-69 in the Landmark Conference semifinals.
Junior center Ryan Traub did everything he could to keep his team in the game, scoring 26 points and adding nine rebounds.
The first half was a back-and-forth battle between the River Hawks and the Greyhounds. Neither team led by more than five points through the first 20 minutes of the contest.
At the half, Susquehanna held a 32-31 lead, and in the second half, the scoring remained close.
With 14:36 left to play in the game, Moravian went on a 10- 2, pulling away from Susquehanna with a 46-38 lead. Late in the second half was when Traub began to shine.
Susquehanna then ignited a run of their own, pulling to within one point after Traub nailed a pair of free throws.
The excitement was short lived though as the Greyhounds went on a 9-0 run to claim the first double-digit lead of the game.
Traub answered back with a layup of his own, and followed it up with a three point play that fueled a 9-2 River Hawk run with just over five minutes to play.
With just a 61-58 lead, it looked like Moravian might give up the lead, but right after Susquehanna’s run, Moravian had another of their own.
This time, it was an 8-2 burst that carried them to the finish line.
With two minutes to play, Traub was not giving up. He converted a three-point play and forced a Moravian turnover that he turned into a dunk to cut the lead to five.
Moravian held strong through the intentional fouls, knocking down six of its seven free throws to maintain the lead down the stretch.
Also scoring double digits for Susquehanna were senior guard Steven Weidlich and sophomore guard Tyler Hoagland who finished with 14 and 13 respectively. Weidlich also led the team in assists with five.
The team finishes the season at 21-5, and would have been a favorite to make the NCAA Tournament if they had not faltered down the stretch.
Moravian and Scranton gave the River Hawks headaches all year, beating Susquehanna twice each to account for four of the teams five losses.
Now, the team waits to hear if it earned an at-large bid to make it to a second consecutive NCAA Tournament.