Men’s basketball stunned by Wilmington (Del.), 65-63

Men’s basketball stunned by Wilmington (Del.), 65-63

NEWARK, Del. – The Philadelphia University men's basketball team had four players score in double figures in its 65-63 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) loss to Wilmington (Del.) on Saturday afternoon in the WU Athletics Complex.

Freshman forward Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) produced his 10th double-double of the season with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Junior guard Nick Christian (Bensalem, Pa./Bensalem) had 10 points and tied a season-high with 12 rebounds for his third double-double of 2012-13.

Senior guard Jim Connolly (Harleysville, Pa./Souderton Area) and freshman guard Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) contributed 13 points a piece for Philadelphia (16-9, 11-5 CACC).

The loss means the Rams will be the second seed in the southern division and will host Post in the first round of the CACC Tournament on Saturday, March 2 at 2 p.m.

Brandon Fox paced Wilmington (6-20, 6-11 CACC) with 15 points, including the game-winning points on a pair of free throws with seven seconds left in the game, and 10 rebounds.

Shaq Monroe-Gaskins added 14 points, while Herbert Dennis netted 11 points.

A Gibbs basket at the 15:07 mark started a 9-1 run that gave the Rams a 17-11 lead with 12:49 left in the first half.  With the lead trimmed to one, Alexis rattled off four straight points to help Philadelphia regain a five-point lead (23-18).

The advantage grew to nine (39-30) when sophomore guard Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) hit a lay-up with 1:31 left before the half.

Back-to-back Gibbs' lay-ups pushed the Philadelphia lead to a game-high 13 points (45-32) with 17:22 still to play. An Alexis basket at the 15:14 mark kept the Rams ahead by double-figures for the final time at 49-39.

A 19-6 Wilmington run, which included seven points from Monroe-Gaskins, put the Wildcats in front 58-55 with 4:58 remaining.

After Schlitzer hit two free throws to tie the score at 59, Connolly got into the lane and made a bucket to put the Rams back in the lead, 61-59, with 2:53 to play. Connolly gave Philadelphia one final lead (63-61) with two successful free throws at the 1:46 mark. Isiah Mason knotted the game at 63 on a basket with 48 seconds left.

The Rams shot 39.1 percent (25-of-64) from the field, and 75.0 percent (9-of-12) at the free throw line. Wilmington hit 43.9 percent (25-of-57) of its shots, and 60.9 percent (14-of-23) of its free throws.

Philadelphia won the rebounding battle, 41-36.

The Rams return home to wrap up the regular season against Chestnut Hill on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. Prior to the game, Connolly and senior guard Stephen Griffin (Bowie, Md./Paint Branch) will be honored as part of Senior Day.