Connolly helps Rams rally to knock off the College of Saint Rose, 67-61

Connolly helps Rams rally to knock off the College of Saint Rose, 67-61

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – Senior guard Jim Connolly (Harleysville, Pa./Souderton Area) netted 17 of his team-high 19 points during the second half to help the Philadelphia University men's basketball team come from behind and defeat the College of Saint Rose, 67-61, on the second day of the Adelphi Holiday Tournament Sunday afternoon.

The Rams (7-3) scored the first six points of the second half, four from Connolly, to trim their 11-point halftime deficit to five (34-29).

After the Golden Knights (7-3) regained a seven-point lead (43-36) on a Kareem Thomas three-pointer, the Rams scored eight of the game's next 10 points, capped with a trey from freshman guard Andre Gibbs (Symrna, Del./Smyrna) at the 9:37 mark, to close the gap to 45-44. Freshman forward TJ Huggins (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) added five of his game-total 12 points to the surge.

Facing a 52-46 deficit, Connolly stepped up and scored the contest's next eight points to put Philadelphia in front for the first time in the second half, 54-52 with 5:12 left.

The Rams never trailed again, but the Golden Knights came back to tie the score twice down the stretch. Back-to-back baskets from freshman forward Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) and Gibbs snapped a 57-all tie and put Philadelphia ahead for good.

The College of Saint Rose ended the first half with 12 straight points, including six from Dominykas Milka to take a 34-23 halftime lead.

Gibbs scored 10 of his 15 points in the second half for the Rams, while Alexis finished the game with 10 points. Junior guard Nick Christian (Bensalem, Pa./Bensalem) filled up the stat sheet with seven points, a team-high seven rebounds, and three steals.

Milka paced the Golden Knights with 20 points, 13 in the first half. Andre Pope, Tyler Sayre and Thomas all had 11 points.

Philadelphia shot 49.0 percent (25-of-51) from the field, 60.0 percent (15-of-25) in the second half, and 63.2 percent (12-of-19) at the free throw line. The College of Saint Rose connected at a 41.5 percent (22-of-53) clip from the floor and 75.0 percent (12-of-16) at the stripe.

The Golden Knights owned a 35-27 rebounding advantage, while the Rams won the turnover battle 13-7.

Philadelphia is off for the next 12 days before travelling to Stonehill on Saturday, Dec. 29 to take on the host Skyhawks on the first day of the East Region Classic at 3 p.m.