Adebayo, Connolly power Rams to 65-58 victory over Chestnut Hill

Temi Adebayo
Temi Adebayo

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Center Temi Adebayo and guard Jim Connolly both scored 21 points to the lead the Philadelphia University men's basketball team in a 65-58 win over Chestnut Hill in a battle for first in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) southern division Tuesday night in the Gallagher Center.

Adebayo, who shot 10-15 from the field, scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half and helped the Rams (15-6, 10-2 CACC) pull away late. He also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, five of them came after halftime.

Connolly, a 6-of-12 shooter from the floor and 7-of-8 at the free throw line, netted 15 of his points in the second half.  He now sits just nine points away from becoming the 46th men's basketball player to score 1,000 points.

Mark DiRugeris led the Griffins (16-8, 9-3 CACC) with 14 points, while Alssene Saintilus added 11 points.

The Rams shot 45.8 percent (27-of-59) from the field—59.3 percent (16-of-27) in the second half. The Griffins connected on 40.4 percent of their shots (23-of-57). Both teams made eight free throws (Philadelphia – 8-of-12 , Chestnut Hill – 8-of-13). Philadelphia was the better rebounding team by a 38-33 count.

Philadelphia broke a 44-all tie with an 11-3 run to take a 55-47 lead with 5:57 left. Adebayo led the charge with six points, while Connolly contributed the other five.

 Just over a minute later, Dan Comas made a lay-up to close the gap to 55-52. Connolly scored eight points during the Rams' final 10-4 run to move ahead 65-56 with 14 seconds left and put the game away.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair with seven ties and three lead changes. Saintilus threw down a fastbreak dunk to give Chestnut Hill an early 5-1 lead. Philadelphia came back by outscoring Chestnut Hill 13-5 to take a four-point lead of its own at 14-10 with 9:27 left in the half. The Rams led at the break, 26-24.

Philadelphia travels to Goldey-Beacom for another important CACC southern division showdown Thursday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. The Lightning earned a 65-54 win on Jan. 26 in Philadelphia.