Men’s basketball fights off Bloomfield, 81-76

Men’s basketball fights off Bloomfield, 81-76

BLOOMFIELD, N.J. – Freshman forward Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) poured in a game-high 23 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds in the Philadelphia University men's basketball team's 81-76 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) triumph over host Bloomfield Saturday afternoon.

Alexis, the CACC leader in shooting percentage, had a very efficient shooting day as he drained 10 of his 12 shoots and all three of his free throw attempts.

Sophomore guard Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) tied his season-high in scoring with 21 points. Freshman guard Andre Gibbs netted 17 points, while senior guard Jim Connolly (Harleysville, Pa./Souderton Area) became the 24th men's basketball player to record 1,400 career points after a 10-point day.

The Rams (13-6, 8-2 CACC) opened up a seven-point lead seven minutes into the game when Schlitzer drained a basketball to make the score 12-5. Marvin Williams and Clarence White combined to scored the Deacons' next 12 points to put Bloomfield (11-10, 9-4 CACC) in front 17-16.

The Rams recovered when junior guard Nick Christian (Bensalem, Pa./Bensalem) drilled a three to give Philadelphia a 22-19 lead. Christian broke a 28-all tie with a free throw and Schlitzer followed it up with a three-pointer to give Philadelphia a four-point cushion (32-28) with 2:16 left in the half. The Rams shot 60 percent (15-of-25) in the first half and led at the break, 36-33.

The teams continued the back-and-forth affair in the second half as they swapped the lead 14 times. Gibbs was responsible for the final lead change with 8:26 left in the game. Trailing 56-55, Gibbs stepped to the free-throw line and drained both of his attempts to give Philadelphia a 57-56 lead.

The Rams took their largest lead of the second half with 2:08 left when Schlitzer connected from three-point land to make the score 75-69. Bloomfield would get as close as three (77-74) with 34 seconds remaining.

Williams scored 22 points for the Deacons, while White finished with 16 points.

Philadelphia finished the game shooting 52.6 percent (30-of-57) from the field, while Bloomfield shot 45.2 percent (28-of-62). The Rams won the rebounding battle, 41-33.

The Rams head to Holy Family for a CACC southern division battle Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m.