PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia University men's basketball team saw its 2012-13 season come to a close as the Rams were upended up by Bloomfield, 68-64, in the championship game of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Tournament Saturday night in Bobby Morgan Arena on the campus of the University of the Sciences.
Philadelphia ends its season with an overall record of 19-10. It was the Rams first appearance in the title game since 2009. Bloomfield is now 17-12 and advances to the NCAA Tournament as the automatic qualifier from the CACC.
Senior guard Jim Connolly (Harleysville, Pa./Souderton Area) led four Rams in double-figures with a game-high 19 points and added five steals. Freshman forward Derek Johnson (Conshohocken, Pa./Atlantic Christian) recorded a double-double for the second straight day as he had 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Connolly and Johnson were both named to the CACC All-Tournament Team.
Bloomfield received 17 points from Erik Sanders. Marvin Williams added 10 points and 10 rebounds. Clarence White came off the bench to pour in 16 points.
Johnson drained a lay-up at the 13:12 mark of the first half to spark a string of 11 straight Philadelphia points, which included seven from Connolly, to break an 11-all deadlock and give the Rams a 22-11 lead. The advantage ballooned to a game-high 18 points (32-14) when freshman guard Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) knocked down a three-pointer with 6:53 left in the half.
After Christian connected on a free throw that allowed Philadelphia to regain a 17-point lead (35-18), Bloomfield scored the half's final six points over a 2:52 span to cut the gap to 35-24 at the break.
Philadelphia quickly grew its lead back up to 16 (44-28) as it opened the second half with a 9-4 spurt, capped off by three Connolly free throws.
With the score 55-39 after three more successful Connolly free throws at the 8:33 mark, Bloomfield started to make its push. The Deacons, led by seven Sanders points, outscored the Rams 19-3 over a 5:13 span and tied the score up at 58.
Alexis stopped the run with a basket in the lane to put Philadelphia back in the lead, 60-58, with 3:04 to play.
As the teams then traded went back-and-forth trading baskets, Gibbs gave the Rams their final lead of the night with a jumper at with 57 seconds left on the clock to make the score 64-63.
On Bloomfield's next trip down floor, White turned an offensive rebound into two points and put the Deacons ahead 65-64. The Rams would turn the ball over of consecutive possessions, allowing the Deacons to extend the lead by going 3-of-4 at the line.
Philadelphia finished the game shooting 34.4 percent (22-of-64) from the field and 65.4 percent (17-of-26) at the free throw line. Bloomfield hit 32.3 percent of its shots (19-of-59) and 71.8 percent (28-of-39) of its free throws. The Deacons won the rebounding battle, 56-37.