Captain Trio Helps Drew Survive Late Mounties Push

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CRESSON, Pa. (Dec. 30, 2015) – As the result of established and effective sharpshooting from all areas of the court, the Drew University men's basketball team was able to survive a furious final-minute comeback to outlast Mount Aloysius College, 89-88, on Wednesday evening 272 miles away from home.
The Rangers' (5-5) trio of senior captains provided the offensive leadership as Mike Klinger led all scorers with 24 points, followed by 20 from Kevin Herring II and 14 from Brian McLaughlin. The three Rangers also combined for 11 of Drew's 13 three-pointers in the victory. Freshman Nate Aldrich was tied for the game-high in rebounds with seven while adding a dozen points from the forward position.
The Rangers led the Mounties (4-7) by as many as 14 with 12:07 to play in the contest. However, Mt. Aloysius relied on some accurate shooting late in the game coupled with a cold spell for the Rangers at the free throw line over the final minute of action. With the Drew lead at 10 with three minutes to play, the Mounties went on a 9-2 run to make it 84-81 while the Rangers missed two from the charity stripe.
Now with under a minute on the clock, Mt. Aloysius reverted to fouling. McLaughlin converted a high-pressure pair with 32 seconds left to push the Rangers' lead to 87-81. The Mounties would answer with a quick layup and a foul, but Klinger was true twice from the line to keep the lead at six. From there, it was a battle from the line as the Mounties hit five in a row and Drew missed all four of their opportunities during the final 10 seconds of the contest. With one tick left on the clock, Mt. Aloysius actually had a chance to win the game, but the full-court attempt was no where close as the Rangers held on to improve to .500 on the season.
It was the first meeting between these programs, and it began in Drew's favor. Klinger, seeing his first significant action since missing seven games to an injury, proved he was at full strength with 17 points in the opening half on the strength of a 5-of-8 mark from downtown. Tied at 9-9, senior Kevin-Michael Miller threw down a dunk off a nice feed from junior Joey Feinberg, who followed on Drew's next possession with a triple for the 14-9 lead.
A McLaughlin three-pointer gave Drew its first double-digit lead at 10:12 to go in the first. The score was 26-15, and the Rangers would hold around a 10-point advantage over the final portion of the opening half.  McLaughlin made sure the lead was double-digits at the buzzer, when he drilled a three to send the Rangers to the locker room up 54-42.
A cold stretch hit both teams for three minutes early in the second half, when no points were scored. McLaughlin broke the spell with a layup and a triple 15 seconds apart for the 63-51 lead. A balanced attack featuring Aldrich, sophomore forward Blaine Taylor and sophomore guard Yonathan Napoleon helped hover the Drew lead around seven or eight, until that 10-point lead at the three-minute mark was obtained, setting up the dramatic finish.
Drew was able to survive the late-game pressure due to a 50% shooting percentage throughout the game, 13 three-pointers and 18 second chance points off 10 offensive rebounds. The Rangers shot just 10-of-20 from the free throw line, while solid marks by the Mounties (27-of-64 FG, 10-of-28 3FG, and 24-of-33 FT) kept the home team in the contest until the final buzzer.
The Rangers finish up a three-game road stint on Saturday, Jan. 2 with Landmark Conference action resuming at Juniata College at 2:00 p.m. Catch the game live on the Landmark Digital Network.