Men's basketball ends home stand with 77-69 win over Bridgeport

Men's basketball ends home stand with 77-69 win over Bridgeport

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia University men's basketball team ended its season-opening five-game home stand in style as it never trailed in a 77-69 victory over the University of Bridgeport Saturday afternoon in the Gallagher Center.

Freshman forward Peter Alexis (Wilkes Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) had a strong game for the Rams, who improve to 4-1 overall, with a career-high 25 points, on 9-of-13 shooting, eight rebounds, and three blocks. Seven of Alexis' points came in the opening 6:31 to help Philadelphia get out to a 12-0 lead.

Freshman guard Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) scored 10 points in the second half on his way to a 17-point afternoon. Senior guard Jim Connolly (Harleysville, Pa./Souderton Area) hit all eight of his free throw attempts and finished with 15 points. Junior guard Nick Christian (Bensalem, Pa./Bensalem) contributed 14 points and eight rebounds.

Philadelphia's lead grew to 14 points when Christian knocked down his one three-pointer of the game to make the score 23-9 with 7:42 left in the first half.

Bridgeport (2-4) netted the final five points of the half to close the gap to 35-26 at the half.

After the Purple Knights pulled within 37-35, the Rams responded with nine of the game's next 10 points to regain a double-double lead at 46-36 with 13:22 left.

Ivan Simic capped a 7-0 Bridgeport run with three of his 14 points to bring the make it a one-possession game (46-43) at the 10:45 mark.

Connolly and Christian both netted four points during an 11-2 surge that helped the Rams take control as the lead grew to 59-47 with 5:53 remaining.

Darian David scored a team-high 19 points and dished out four assists for Bridgeport.

Freshman guard TJ Huggins (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) recorded a career-high six steals.

The Rams shot 44.4 percent (24-of-54) from the field and 78.8 percent (26-of-33) at the line. Bridgeport connected on 49.0 percent (25-of-51) of its field goal attempts and 50.0 percent (13-of-26) of its free throws.

The Purple Knights outrebounded the Rams, 35-32. Philadelphia forced 17 turnovers, seven at the beginning of the game to get out to the 12-0 lead.

The Rams travel to Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference opponent Felician for their first road test of the season on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 3 p.m.