PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia University men's basketball team was defeated by the University of the Sciences 60-55 in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) opener for both teams Wednesday night in the Gallagher Center.
The Rams (2-1, 0-1) had four players in double figures, led by TJ Huggins' (Alexandria, Va./TC Williams) 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) added 14 points and a game and season-high 12 rebounds, while Eric Long (Bronx, N.Y./Marianapolis Prep) had 12 points and 10 rebounds—both career-highs. Kaison Randolph (Trenton, N.J./Pennington Prep) contributed 11 points.
The Rams (2-1, 0-1 CACC) and Devils (2-1, 1-0 CACC) went back-and-forth in an opening half that had nine ties and seven lead changes. Back-to-back baskets from Long and Alexis, separated by 40 seconds, gave Philadelphia a half-high four-point lead (18-14) at the 9:47 mark. With Philadelphia leading 20-16, USciences rattled off five straight points, three on Will Gregorits free throws and the other on a Wes Kerr put back, to take a one-point advantage.
Over the final 6:53 of the half, the teams swapped the lead four times and were tied five occasions. Alexis tipped-in a Mike Louden (Glen Mills, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) missed 3-pointer just before halftime to send the teams to the locker room tied at 32.
Philadelphia came on strong to start the second half, scoring the first six points—capped by a Randolph 3-pointer at the 17:43 mark—to go up 38-32. The Devils answered with the next 12 points, four each from Sho Da-Silva and Flo Da-Silva, to move in front by six (44-38).
The Rams cut the Devils lead to 46-45 with 6:33 to go by going 5-of-6 from the free throw line and forcing the Devils to miss two shots and commit two turnovers over a 3:06 span. Alexis was 4-for-4 from the stripe, while Huggins was 1-of-2.
After a Brendan Kilpatrick (Norristown, Pa./Malvern Prep) 3-pointer closed the gap to one, USciences outscored Philadelphia 6-2 over the next 3:16 to extend its lead to 56-51 on a Gregorits bucket with 1:38 left. Philadelphia got as close as three the rest of the way.
Sho Da-Silva paced USciences with 18 points, while Kerr and Gregorits added 13 points each.
Philadelphia outrebounded USciences 40-36. The Devils shot 39.0 percent from the field, while the Rams connected on 37.3 percent of their shots.
The Rams hit the road for the first time this season and will face Merrimack in a non-conference game on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 1 p.m. at Southern New Hampshire University.