Men’s basketball edged out by UMass-Lowell, 92-87

Men’s basketball edged out by UMass-Lowell, 92-87

PHILADELPHIA – For the second straight game all five Philadelphia University men's basketball starters scored in double-figures; however, the Rams suffered their first loss of the season, 92-87 to UMass-Lowell Sunday afternoon in the Gallagher Center.

Both teams had solid days shooting the basketball. The Riverhawks (3-0) connected on 58.8 percent (31-of-53) of their shot attempts, including 68.4 percent (13-of-19) from three. The Rams (2-1) shot 56.0 percent (28-of-50) from the field.

Sophomore guard Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) led the Philadelphia effort with 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Senior guard Jim Connolly (Harleysville, Pa./Souderton Area), freshman guard Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smryna), and freshman center Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) all netted 17 points. Alexis also recorded a game-high 11 rebounds to post a double-double for the second straight contest. Gibbs dished out a career-high six assists.

Junior guard Nick Christian (Bensalem, Pa./Bensalem) added 10 points.

Akeem Williams paced UMass-Lowell with 24 points, while Matt Welch scored 20 points. Williams shot 8-of-12 from the field, 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, and Welch was 6-of-7 on his three-point attempts.

Trailing 80-75, the Rams scored seven straight points over a 1:24 span, capped by a Gibbs' jumper, to take an 82-80 lead with 2:54 left in regulation. Williams came back down the court and drilled a three-pointer to start a 10-2 Riverhawk run that put the visitors ahead 90-84 with 28 seconds to go.

Five seconds later, Gibbs gave Philadelphia hope after knocking down his only three-pointer of the game to close the gap to 90-87. 

Greg DeSantis sealed the game with a pair of made free throws, for two of his nine points, with 18 seconds remaining.

In the first half, the Rams used an 18-7 run to overcome a seven-point deficit at move in front 38-34. Christian and Schlitzer both scored five points in the run. The Rams led at the half, 40-39.

Philadelphia outrebounded UMass-Lowell, 33-23. The Riverhawks forced nine turnovers, while committing only three.

Philadelphia continues its season-opening five-game home stand on Tuesday, Nov. 20 against Kutztown at 7 p.m.