Huggins' big day helps Rams knock off Caldwell, 84-61

Huggins' big day helps Rams knock off Caldwell, 84-61

PHILADELPHIA – Freshman forward TJ Huggins (Alexandria, Va./TC Williams) poured in a career-high 21 points to lead four Rams in double-figures in the Philadelphia University's men's basketball team's 84-61 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) victory over visiting Caldwell in the Gallagher Center Saturday afternoon.

Huggins—who also grabbed six rebounds and dished out two assists—had a hot-hand as he shot 55.6 percent (10-of-18) from the field in the victory.

Freshman guard Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) was a perfect for 5-for-5 from the floor, including 4-of-4 from three-point range, to score 16 points. He also had five assists.

Sophomore guard Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) and Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) added 15 and 14 points, respectively. Alexis tied a career-high with four blocked shots.

Kevin Walker paced the Cougars (6-13, 2-8 CACC) with 15 points and Michael Balkovic had 14 points.

After Caldwell tied the score of nine on two made Karel Thuwis free throws, Philadelphia (12-6, 7-2 CACC)would score on its next three possessions—including three-pointers from senior guard Jim Connolly (Harleysville, Pa./Souderton Area) and Schlitzer, and a Huggins jumper—to run out to a 17-11 lead with 13:07 left in the first.

The Cougars stormed back seven consecutive points, capped by a Brian Kenny put-back at the 10:01 mark, to take an 18-17 advantage.

Philadelphia responded with a 9-0 run, which included four points from Huggins and three from Schlitzer, to grab an eight-point lead at 26-18. The margin grew to a half-high 12 points (35-23) when junior guard Nick Christian (Bensalem, Pa./Bensalem) drained two free throws.

The Rams slammed the down shut in the second half by shooting 60.0 percent (18-of-30) in the second half, 50.0 percent (6-of-12) from behind the arc, and outrebounding the Cougars 17-9. Gibbs had 12 of Philadelphia's 45 second-half points.

Philadelphia finished the game shooting a season-high 56.1 percent (32-of-57), while Caldwell connected at a 40.3 percent (25-of-62) clip. The Rams owned a 37-27 rebounding advantage.

The Rams have a week off before going for their fifth win in a row Saturday, Feb. 2 at Bloomfield at 3 p.m.