PHILADELPHIA -- Senior forward TJ Huggins (Alexandra, Va./T.C. Williams) poured in a career-high 34 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Philadelphia University men's basketball team in a season-ending 83-71 loss to St. Anselm in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday afternoon in Holy Family University's Campus Center.
Philadelphia—who made its 35th appearance in the NCAA Tournament field—finishes the season with an overall record of 23-9. It was the Rams' 33rd 20+-win season under Hall of Fame head coach Herb Magee.
Huggins, who scored 24 of the Rams' 47 second-half points, had a solid day shooting the ball as he made a career-high 16 baskets on 28 attempts.
Senior center Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) also had a double-double, recording 17 points—14 in the second half—and 10 rebounds.
Philadelphia had a better shooting percentage St. Anselm (22-7), 44.3 percent (31-of-70) to 41.7 percent (25-of-60), but the difference was made at the 3-point line. The Hawks made 10 of their 18 attempts, while the Rams were 3-of-20 from behind the arc.
St. Anselm also went 23-of-27 from the free throw line. Philadelphia made six of its eight free throws.
The Hawks—who never trailed—got off to a fast start, outscoring the Rams 15-4 in the opening seven minutes. Six straight points later in the half managed to get Philadelphia back with 26-21 at the 4:55 mark. St. Anselm came right back with four 3-pointers during a 12-1 run that put the Hawks up 38-22.
A Mike McCahey three-point play with 15:17 in the contest capped a 7-2 run and gave the Hawks a game-high 49-32 advantage. Trailing 53-36, Philadelphia scored 13 of the next 18 points, seven coming from Huggins, to get back within single digits (58-49) on a Huggins jumper with 8:21 remaining.
After St. Anselm reestablished a 14-point lead (73-59), Gemil Holbrook (Darby, Pa./Roman Catholic) finished off an 8-2 run with a 3-pointer at the 1:14 mark to close the gap to 75-67. It would be as close as the Rams would get as the Hawks went 8-for-8 from the free throw line down the stretch.
Victor Joshua paced the Hawks with 24 points, while McCahey added 20.