PHILADELPHIA – Sophomore forward Derek Johnson (Conshohocken, Pa./Atlantic Christian) scored a team-high 22 points to help lead the Philadelphia University men's basketball team to a 79-69 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) victory over visiting Felician Saturday afternoon in the Gallagher Center.
Philadelphia improves to 6-3 overall with the win and 3-1 against the CACC. Felician falls to 4-6 overall, 2-2 in conference play.
Junior guard Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) poured in 18 points in the victory. Sophomore forward Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) added 17 points, on 8-of-11 shooting, and 10 rebounds for his team-high fifth double-double of the season.
The first 25 minutes of the contest belonged to Felician as the Golden Falcons held the lead, including a game-high 12-point advantage (27-15) at the 6:41 mark of the first half.
Facing a 47-40 deficit, the Rams rattled off seven straight points to tie the score for the first time at 47-all on a Christian lay-up with 14:47 to play. The Golden Falcons reclaimed a three-point lead on a Lamine Cooper bucket just over two minutes later.
Trailing 52-49, Johnson took over as he single-handedly outscored the Golden Falcons 7-1 over a 1:37 stretch to put Philadelphia in the lead 56-53.
Anthony Obery tied the score at 56 with a 3-point basket on Felician's next trip down the floor. The triple didn't hurt Philadelphia's confident as Alexis and Gibbs each a jumper on back-to-back Ram possessions to put the home team ahead 60-56 with eight minutes left.
The Rams had the lead trimmed to 64-63 when Jamal Reid hit a 3-pointer at the 6:13 mark. Philadelphia answered the basket with a game-sealing 15-3 run, capped by two Schlitzer free throws with 23 to go, to take a 79-66 lead.
Reid was Felician's leading scoring with 25 points. Jarryd Horsley-Fordham came off the bench to record 14 points and nine rebounds.
Philadelphia shot 47.6 percent (30-of-63) from the floor, while Felician was at 45.9 percent (28-of-61). Both teams struggled at the free throw line as the Rams went 10-of-17 (58.8 percent) and the Golden Falcons shot 8-of-22 (36.4 percent). The Rams won the rebounding battle 39-35.
Philadelphia will look for its first three-game winning streak of the season when it heads to Holy Family for a CACC clash on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. in the Campus Center.