PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia University men's basketball team opened the 2013-14 regular season with a 73-69 victory over the College of Saint Rose in the first day of the East Region Classic Saturday afternoon in the Campus Center at Holy Family University.
Sophomore forward Peter Alexis (Wilkes Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) knocked down 11 of the 12 shot attempts to record a team-high 24 points in the victory. Junior guard Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) went 6-of-13 from the field, 4-of-7 from three, to post 22 points, and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Senior guard Nick Christian (Bensalem, Pa./Bensalem) filled up the box score with 15 points, seven assists, six rebounds, and three steals. Sophomore guard Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) had 10 points and four assists.
Philadelphia (1-0) broke open a tight contest midway through the first half with a 16-2 run, which included a pair Schlitzer threes, to take a 34-20 lead with 4:53 left. The Golden Knights (0-1) closed the margin to nine (34-25) on a pair of Kareem Thomas free throws. Philadelphia was able to reestablish a 13-point lead (42-29) at the break, closing out the final 2:49 by outscoring Saint Rose 8-4.
The cushion stayed in double figures until the 14:16 mark of the second half when a Tyler Sayre old-fashioned three-point play cut the lead to 52-44. After Schlitzer buried a jumper with 3:17 left to put the Rams up 68-59, the Golden Knights mounted their comeback attempt.
A Sayre triple sparked a 9-2 surge that closed the Philadelphia advantage to 70-68 with 1:22 to play. The Rams held off the Golden Knights as Schlitzer went 3-of-4 at the line, and the defense held Saint Rose to 0-of-3 shooting from the floor and forcing a turnover.
Sayre finished the game with a game-high 25 points on 10-of-22 shooting. Dominykas Milka posted 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Thomas ended up with 15 points.
Philadelphia shot 50.0 percent (26-of-52) from the field, and Saint Rose shot 41.0 percent (25-of-61). The Rams owned a 35-34 rebounding edge.
Philadelphia goes right back to work when it takes on Assumption in day two of the East Region Classic on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. at Holy Family.