Easton, MA- The #4 seeded Philadelphia University Rams (27-8, 16-1 CACC) ended a spectacular season at the NCAA East Region Championship, falling 81-69 to the #2 seeded Bentley College Falcons (26-6, 17-5 CACC) on Tuesday night at Stonehill College’s Merkert Gymnasium.
PhilaU senior guard Russell Frederick (Baltimore, MD/ Calvert Hall) notched a team-high 22 points in the final game of his collegiate career.
The last time the Rams won 27 or more games was the 1993-94 season, when the team went 29-2 and 1-1 in the NCAA Tournament.
The game was Bentley’s fourth consecutive Sweet 16 appearance, and PhilaU’s first in 15 years. BU’s Brian Westrol led all scorers with a career-high 33 points, and was named Tournament MVP.
“We tip our hats to Westrol, he took the game over,” said PhilaU Head Coach Herb Magee.
PhilaU shot just 26% from the field in the first half and 44% for the game (to Bentley’s 58%), while Bentley outrebounded the Rams 31-27.
The Rams put themselves at a disadvantage in that first stanza, trailing 42-22 at the half.
The Rams started the second half on a 19-10 run, cutting the Falcon lead to 52-41 at the 12:00 mark. But BU pulled away, shooting 5-10 from three-range in the second half alone. PhilaU’s senior forward Marcus Lemon (Alexandria, VA/ T.C. Williams) added 14 points to the Ram cause.
PhilaU freshman guard Jim Connolly (Harleysville, PA/ Souderton) chipped in 10 points and four assists in his NCAA Tournament debut.
Frederick and Connolly were named to the NCAA East Region All-Tournament Team.