PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia University men's basketball team was defeated by the University of the Sciences, 76-70, in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) southern division clash Monday night in the Gallagher Center.
Philadelphia—who had its winning streak snapped at six—is now 20-7 overall and 14-4 in CACC play. The Rams now sit third in the CACC southern division. Philadelphia can claim the second spot, and a first round home game, with a win against Goldey-Beacom in its regular season final and a Holy Family at Chestnut Hill. Both games will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m.
USciences—who never trailed in the game—clinched the southern division title as it improves to 22-4, 16-2 in conference play.
Junior forward Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) paced Philadelphia with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and six blocked shots. Junior forward Derek Johnson (Conshohocken, Pa./Atlantic Christian) added 22 points.
Junior guard Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) became the 54th player in program history to score 1,000 career points after hitting a layup with 9:00 left in the contest. Gibbs finished the game with six points.
The Devils got off to a fast start, scoring the first eight points of the game in the opening 4:12. Behind five points each from senior guard Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) and Johnson, Philadelphia went on a 10-3 run to cut the USciences advantage to 11-10.
With USciences leading 15-14, Garret Kerr made a second-chance basket to start a 9-0 surge that put the Devils ahead by double digits for the first time (24-14). Another string of nine straight points extended the gap to 17 (40-23) on a Sho Da-Silva bucket with 2:08 left in the half.
Philadelphia gained momentum going into halftime with the final eight points to close the USciences lead to 40-31.
The momentum stayed with the Rams at the start of the second half, as they recorded 10 of the first 14 points to pull within 44-41 on two Alexis free throws. Alexis and Johnson scored five points each during the rally.
Back-to-back Da-Silva layups stopped the Philadelphia run and put the Devils back up seven (48-41).
Trailing 71-64, Philadelphia made one final push to earn the win. A brief 6-1 spurt, capped off by a Johnson 3-pointer at the 2:27 mark, made it a two-point game (72-70).
Philadelphia's defense forced a USciences miss on the Devils next possession. On the ensuing Ram possession, Kerr stole the ball away from Gibbs and hit the fast break layup to put the Devils up four and end the Philadelphia threat.
Kerr led USciences with 25 points and eight rebounds, while Da-Silva posted 22 points and seven rebounds.