SCRANTON, Pa. - The Mustangs men's basketball team dropped a heartbreaker on the road at Johnson College on Saturday, with the host Jaguars draining a three-pointer at the buzzer for a 92-91 win over Montgomery in Region XIX action.
For head Men's Basketball Coach Denny Surovec, the game was ultimately decided at the foul line, where the Mustangs converted just 2-of-6 free-throw opportunities in the final minute, including two misses of front ends of one-and-ones.
Montgomery held the edge in field-goal shooting for the game. But Johnson College's impressive 73.9 percent (17-of-23) performance at the foul line was the difference, especially when compared to Montgomery's 50 percent effort.
"We need to be able to make foul shots if we're going to win close games," Surovec said.
The Mustangs were overwhelmed from tip-off, with Johnson storming out to a 22-4 lead. But Montgomery kept its composure and rallied back to draw within two points at 49-47 heading into halftime.
The second half featured a tight back-and-forth battle, with the Mustangs holding the edge late. But the missed free throws came back to haunt them.
Despite the outcome, Surovec was proud of his team's resolve and resiliency.
"We dug ourselves a huge hole tonight, but the guys did a great job of battling back to take the lead late," he said.
Five Mustangs players scored in double figures. Freshmen guards Kevin Woods and Jared Stanley continued their run of strong play, leading the team with 19 points apiece. Sophomore guard Tyreek Magruder added 15 points and 4 assists. Sophomore forward Ryan Casper scored 14 points, led the team with 8 rebounds and added 4 assists and 4 steals. Freshman Vince Casciello chipped in 11 points.
The men's team travels to Widener University on Tuesday for a battle with Delaware County Community College. Tip-off is set for 8 pm.