WATERBURY, Conn. – Junior forward Derek Johnson (Conshohocken, Pa./Atlantic Christian) poured in a career-high 30 points on 11-of-20 shooting to help the Philadelphia University men's basketball team pick up a 75-58 victory over Post in the quarterfinal round of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Tournament Saturday afternoon in the Drubner Center.
Philadelphia improves to 22-7 as it advances to the CACC Tournament semifinals for the fourth straight year, eighth overall. The Rams' semifinal round opponent will be the University of the Sciences, a 61-51 winner against Bloomfield, on Friday, March 6 at 5 p.m. in the Gallagher Center. The Devils are 2-0 against the Rams this season.
Junior forwards Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) and TJ Huggins (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) and junior guard Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) all added 13 points. Alexis also grabbed 11 rebounds for his 15th double-double of the season.
After the Eagles' Matt Mareno opened the game with a put back layup, the Rams rattled off eight straight points, capped by a Gibbs 3-pointer, to take an 8-2 lead three minutes into the contest.
Post closed the Philadelphia lead to 14-13 on a Mareno dunk to conclude a 5-0 run at the 10:01 mark. Philadelphia responded with a 12-4 run to widen the gap to 26-17. Huggins had four of the Rams' 12 points.
The Rams' first-half lead grew to nine points (30-21) on an Alexis layup with 4:24 left, but the Eagles scored the six points of the half to close the cushion to 30-27.
Johnson came out strong to open the second half, hitting his first five shot attempts, and scored 12 points during a 14-4 run that ballooned the Rams' lead to 44-31.
Post fought back to make it a 46-41 affair on a Tyler Desrosiers triple with 12:59 left. Philadelphia's response was a 13-2 run, that included six Johnson points, to extend the lead to 59-43 and put the game out of reach.
The Eagles (12-14) got 23 points and 11 rebounds from Mareno, while Joseph Lockwood added 11 points, 12 rebounds, and three assists.