PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The Philadelphia University men's basketball team nearly pulled off a frantic comeback, but fell just short in a 76-74 loss to the University of the Sciences in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) contest Thursday night in the Gallagher Center.
In a short ceremony prior to the contest, an honorary bust of Hall of Fame head coach Herb Magee was unveiled in the center of the court that also bears his name.
Guard Jim Connolly paced the Rams (16-8, 11-4 CACC) with a game-high 21 points. Guards Stephen Griffin and Nick Schlitzer both recorded 15 points, while center Temi Adebayo had 12 points, six rebounds and four blocks shots. Guard Nick Christian earned his second double-double of the year with a game-high 14 rebounds and 11 points.
The Devils (5-18, 3-12) received a double-double consisting on 17 points and 13 rebounds from Garret Kerr. Tyrone Mann-Barnes and Henry Messinger also contributed 17-point efforts.
The University of the Sciences shot 45.6 percent (26-of-57) from the field, including 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from three-point range. Philadelphia connected on 40.8 percent (20-of-49) of its shots overall, and 37.9 percent (11-of-29) At the free throw line the Devils hit 60.7 percent (17-of-28) of their attempts, while the Rams shot 65.7 percent (23-of-35).
The Rams were down 70-60 with 2:09 left in the second half. Adebayo hit three straight free throws to cut the margin to 70-63 at the 1:29 mark. Down 72-66, Griffin drained a trey to cut the deficit in half with 45 seconds still on the clock.
After a 1-for-2 trip at the line for Brian Boyle, Griffin banked-in another three-pointer to pull Philadelphia within 73-72. Kerr and Christian traded two made free throws to keep the gap at one. With five seconds left Kerr hit one free throw to make the score 76-74. On Philadelphia's final possession Schlitzer was fouled with .6 seconds to play. After missing the first free throw, Schlitzer couldn't hit the rim while missing on purpose.
Philadelphia hosts Felician in its regular season home final on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 4 p.m. in the Gallagher Center. The team will honor seniors Adebayo and Corey Francisco prior to tip-off.