Men’s basketball nipped by James Madison, 73-69 in overtime

Men’s basketball nipped by James Madison, 73-69 in overtime

HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Philadelphia University men's basketball team had four players score in double figures in a narrow 73-69 overtime loss to Division I James Madison in an exhibition game Sunday afternoon in the JMU Convocation Center.

Sophomore forward Derek Johnson (Conshohocken, Pa./Atlantic Christian) led the Rams with 20 points and seven rebounds. Junior guard Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) poured in 17 points. Johnson and Schlitzer each hit four 3-pointers.

Senior guard Nick Christian (Bensalem, Pa./Bensalem) and sophomore forward Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Reedemer) both scored 12 points.

Philadelphia took a 64-60 lead with 2:07 left in the overtime on a pair of Johnson free throws. Then, the Dukes' Andrey Semenov took over, outscoring the Rams 11-6 during a two-minute stretch to give the defending Colonial Athletic Association champs a 71-68 advantage with just seven seconds left.

Semenov—who went 3-of-4 from 3-point range in the extra session—finished with a game-high 28 points.

Christian brought the Rams within two with a good free throw with two seconds to play.

The Rams were in complete control of the first half as they led throughout—amassing a game-high 14-point cushion on a Johnson lay-up to make the score 25-11 with 8:10 left in the half.

Philadelphia stayed in front until Taylor Bessick capped a 16-2 run with a jumper to put the Dukes ahead for the first time at 46-44 with 7:58 to play in regulation.

Neither team would lead by more than one possession the rest of the way. The largest lead during the duration of the second half belonged to Philadelphia when Christian drained a 3-pointer to break a 48-all tie at the 6:06 mark.

Bessick—who finished with 11 points—sent the game to overtime with a successful free throw with 54 seconds on the clock.

Philadelphia opens the 2013-14 regular season against the College of St. Rose in the first day of the East Region Classic at Holy Family on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 4 p.m.