PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia University men's basketball team's 1,000-point club welcomed two new members as junior guard Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) and senior guard Nick Christian (Bensalem, Pa./Bensalem) reached the milestone in the Rams' 75-64 victory over Wilmington (Del.) in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) game Wednesday night in the Gallagher Center.
Philadelphia improves to 17-5 overall and 11-2 in conference play. The Rams extend their winning streak to six and have won 10 of their last 11 games. Wilmington is now 9-14 overall, 5-9 against the CACC.
Entering Wednesday night's game, Christian and Schlitzer needed nine and four points, respectively, to reach 1,000 career points. After scoring two points in the first half, Schlitzer became the program's 50th player to score 1,000 points by sinking two free throws with 15:05 left in the game. Christian made himself the 51st player to achieve the milestone in the game's final minute by hitting the first of two free throws with 28.0 seconds remaining. It is the first time in Philadelphia University history that two players got to 1,000 career points in the same game.
Schlitzer finished the contest 13 points and three rebounds. Christian racked up 10 points and a tied a career-high 15 rebounds for his first double-double of the year.
Sophomore forward Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) and Derek Johnson (Conshocken, Pa./Atlantic Christian) tied for the team lead in points with 18 each. Alexis also grabbed 10 rebounds to complete his team-leading 10th double-double of the year.
Sophomore guard Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) added 16 points and five assists.
The Rams, who led from start to finish, quickly took control of the contest by scoring the game's first seven points. Wilmington trimmed the Philadelphia lead to three (9-6) on a Ta'Vaune Griffin basket at the 15:23 mark.
A pair of Christian free throws with 13:42 left in the half allowed Philadelphia to take a 15-6 lead. Four minutes later, Gibbs drained a 3-pointer to start a 13-2 run that push the Rams' advantage to a game-high 17 points (32-15).
Philadelphia held its double-digit lead until Shai Henry cleaned up his own miss with a rebound and put back 3:26 into to the second half to make the score 37-28. The Rams pushed back with a 10-1 run, capped by an Alexis three-point play at the 12:55 mark, to regain a 16-point lead (47-31).
The Wildcats made it a close game late with eight straight points to trim the Rams' lead from 11 to three (60-57) with 3:14 to play. Philadelphia ended the rally with six straight points to move ahead by nine with 1:43 left.
Tyaire Ponzo-Meek led Wilmington with 15 points. Griffin finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Philadelphia shot 48.1 percent (26-of-54) from the field, while Wilmington connected on 34.3 percent (24-of-70) of its attempts. The Wildcats owned a 42-39 rebounding advantage.
Philadelphia heads to Post for a CACC contest on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 3 p.m.