PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia University men's basketball team picked up a hard-fought and much needed 62-59 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) victory against visiting Nyack in overtime Saturday afternoon in the Gallagher Center.
Philadelphia improves to 19-6 overall, 12-4 against the CACC, as it snaps its brief two-game skid. Nyack is now 9-10 overall and 6-10 in conference play.
Both teams struggled to find offense in the opening 1:32 of the overtime session. Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) was sent to the free throw line after picking up an offensive rebound, and went 1-for-2 to put the Rams ahead 54-53 at the 3:28 mark. On Philadelphia's next trip, Brendan Kilpatrick (Norristown, Pa./Malvern Prep) had a 2-for-2 trip to the stripe to extend the lead the three.
For the rest of the overtime, Philadelphia's lead fluctuated between one and three points. The final points of the contest came from TJ Huggins (Alexandria, Va./TC Williams) as he made two free throws with 2.1 seconds to play to put the Rams up 62-59 and cap off a 23-point afternoon.
The Rams looked to have the game locked up after a run of eight straight points, six from Huggins, gave them a 46-40 lead with 7:11 to play. Nyack came back with eight of the next nine points to reclaim a one-point lead (48-47) on a Ga'Briel Chandler bucket at the 2:21 mark. Huggins scored the game's next four points to put Philadelphia ahead 51-48.
On the final possession of regulation, Jaron Smith hit a 24-foot 3-pointer, after getting an Imran Ritchie handoff, from the top of the key with three seconds left to send the game to overtime tied at 53.
Alexis finished up the contest with 15 points, a game-high 13 rebounds, and six blocked shots. Kilpatrick contributed 16 points.
Nyack had four players in double figures, led by Smith's 14 points. Ritchie had 12 points and four assists while Robert Tyler scored 11 points. Shawn Witherspoon had 10 points.
The Rams—who led by as many as 10 in the opening half—shot 41.2 percent from the field, while the Warriors hit 33.3 percent of their attempts. Led by double-digit rebounding efforts from Alexis and Eric Long (Bronx, N.Y./Marianapolis Prep)—who had 11, Philadelphia owned a 45-30 rebounding advantage.
Philadelphia heads to Georgian Court for its final road test of the regular season on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m.