Balanced attack helps men's basketball take out Pace, 79-65

Balanced attack helps men's basketball take out Pace, 79-65

PHILADELPHIA – All five Philadelphia University starters scored in double figures as the Rams closed out its 2013-14 non-conference schedule with a 79-65 victory over visiting Pace University Saturday afternoon in the Gallagher Center.

Philadelphia has now earned a victory in each of its last three contests and improves to 10-4 overall. The Rams went 6-3 in out-of-conference games this season.

Sophomore forward Derek Johnson (Conshohocken, Pa./Atlantic Christian) led the Rams' offense with a game-high 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Sophomore forward Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) picked up his team-leading ninth double-double with a 17-point, 12-rebound performance.

Senior guard Nick Christian (Bensalem, Pa./Bensalem) filled up the box score 15 points—tying a season-high—seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

Junior guard Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) contributed 14 points, while sophomore guard Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) netted 12 points.

The Rams used an 8-0 run, spanning three minutes, to take an 11-4 advantage 4:42 into the contest. After Pace (3-9) tied the score at 13 on a made free throw by Denzel Primus-Devonish, Philadelphia would outscore the visitors 24-7 over a stretch of 10:20 to move in front 37-20 with 2:09 left in the half. All five starters contributed in the run, led by eight points from Schlitzer.

Pace opened the second half with three baskets to trim Philadelphia's lead to six (37-31) at the 17:21 mark. The Rams countered with a jumper by sophomore forward TJ Huggins (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) and a Christian triple to regain their double-digit lead (42-31).

With its lead cut to nine (44-35) on a Jaylen Mann lay-up, Philadelphia rattled off nine straight points to grab a game-high 18-point cushion (54-36) with 12:20 remaining. The Rams' lead remained in double figures the rest of the way.

Primus-Devonish and Mann each scored 15 points for the Setters. Jonathan Merceus added 13 points and six rebounds.

Philadelphia shot 50.0 percent (28-of-56) from the field and 84.2 percent (16-of-19) at the line in the win. Pace connected at a 52.2 percent (24-of-46) clip from the floor and hit 64.3 percent (9-of-14) for its free throws.

The Rams won the battle of the boards 34-20, including a 15-5 edge on the offensive glass that gave Philadelphia a 19-5 advantage in second-chance points.

Philadelphia will now focus on the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference the rest of the season, starting with a road trip to Wilmington (Del.) on Wednesday, Jan. 8 for an 8 p.m. tip.