Philadelphia, PA- The roof at the Gallagher Athletic Center may need to be checked after the #25 Philadelphia University Rams (3-2, 1-0 CACC) blew the top off in a 68-64 win over visiting #7 Merrimack College (0-2, 0-1 NE-10) on Saturday afternoon. In a standing room only crowd, PhilaU Head Coach Herb Magee was honored for 50 years at the University as his Rams upset the nationally-ranked Warriors.
Several factors contributed to the Rams win, keyed by senior forward Malcolm Ingram's (Philadelphia, PA/ Solebury Prep) game-high 24 points and 10 rebounds. PhilaU also dominated the boards, outrebounding MC 45-26.
MC was led by Darin Mency with 21 points andseven rebounds.
With over 10 lead changes throughout the contest, the Rams held the advantage for the first four minutes of play until MC went on a 12-0 run to go up 14-9. A lay-in by senior guard Marcus Lemon (Alexandria, VA/ T.C. Williams) at 5:26 would give PhilaU the lead back and they went into the break up 31-30.
The second half was riveting, as MC's Darren Duncan (20 points, five boards on the day) hit a trey to give his Warriors the lead back until 6:08 remaining when PhilaU sophomore forward Corey Francisco (Woodbridge, NJ/ Monmouth Academy) hit a bucket at 6:08 to put the Rams up 56-54. Francisco finished the contest with a career-high nine points.
Senior forward Mike Yocum (Dresher, PA/ Episcopal Academy) hit a 10-footer at 2:03 to keep the maroon and gray ahead by a hair, 61-60. Yocum had a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Yet, the Warriors were not finished as Duncan made two free-throws with under a minute to put MC up 64-63.
PhilaU's Lemon hit a lay-up at :32 and the Rams never looked back, going 3-4 at the charity stripe in the final seconds to hold on for a 68-64 win.
The PhilaU squad returns to action on Tuesday (11/24) at home vs. St. Thomas Aquinas College at 8:00 p.m.