Men’s basketball fights off Assumption in 68-65 thriller

Men’s basketball fights off Assumption in 68-65 thriller

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia University men's basketball team closed out 2014 with a 68-65 victory over visiting Assumption on the second day of the East Region Classic on Sunday in the Gallagher Center.

Derek Johnson (Conshohocken, Pa./Atlantic Christian), who finished with 12 points, made two of the biggest plays of the game during the final 39 seconds to secure the game for the Rams (7-4).

With the score tied at 63, Johnson drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing to put Philadelphia up 66-63 with 39 seconds left. After a Tim Kasper layup pulled Assumption (5-6) within 66-65, the Greyhounds sent the Rams' Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) to the line for a 1-and-1 with 18 seconds to play. Gibbs missed the front end of the bonus situation, but Johnson outleaped the Assumption defense to secure the rebound and another possession for Philadelphia.

Gibbs—who contributed 12 points and three steals—got fouled with 12 seconds to go, and hit both ends of the 1-and-1 to push the lead back to three (68-65).

On the final play of the game, Jack Sullivan missed a 3-pointer from right corner to give the Rams their fourth straight win.

The Greyhounds owned an early 7-3 lead on a Jimmy Zenevitch layup 4:11 into the contest. Philadelphia outscored Assumption 20-7, including seven points from Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer), over the next 7:41 to move in front 23-14.

In the second half, Philadelphia used a 13-4 surge to take a game-high 13-point lead (49-36) on an Alexis putback with 13:19 left in the game. Assumption rallied to tie the game at 61 on a Kamali Bey basket at the 2:34 mark.

Alexis finished with a game-high 20 points, on 8-of-16 shooting, and grabbed six rebounds. Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) added 15 points, while TJ Huggins (Alexandria, Va./TC Williams) grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

Bey led the Greyhounds with 19 points, and Karl Ziegler and Terrance Bobb-Jones scored 15 each.

Philadelphia returns to the court with a non-conference contest against Molloy on Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015 at 3 p.m. in the Gallagher Center.