GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – The Philadelphia University men's basketball team suffered a 58-57 loss to host Adelphi in a back-and-forth affair in the opening day of the Adelphi Holiday Tournament Saturday afternoon in the Center for Recreation and Sport Center.
Philadelphia is now 7-4 overall this season as the team's three-game winning streak came to an end. Adelphi goes to 3-6 overall.
Sophomore forward Derek Johnson (Conshohocken, Pa./Atlantic Christian) was the Rams' leading scorer with 15 points.
Sophomore forward Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) recorded 14 points and a season-high 17 rebounds to record his seventh double-double of the year. Alexis had 12 points and 10 rebounds during the opening 20 minutes.
Junior guard Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) ended the game with 12 points, 10 in the second half.
Philadelphia was down 18-9 after Greg Davis connected on a 3-pointer 7:36 into the game.
The Rams chipped away at the Panthers' lead, eventually taking a two-point lead (30-28) when Johnson hit a lay-up to cap a 6-0 surge with 1:58 left in the first half.
Duane Morgan drained a triple with 1:06 to go to close out the first half scoring and give Adelphi a 31-30 lead.
The second half with a nip-and-tuck battle as the teams swapped the lead 12 times and had neither team lead by more than four points.
Schlitzer snapped a 54-all tie, knocking down a 3-pointer with 6:09 to go and putting Philadelphia in front 57-54.
At the 4:42 mark, Morgan drained a lay-up to bring the Panthers within one (57-56). On Adelphi's next possession Ryan DeNicola made a jumper to put Adelphi in the lead 58-57.
DeNicola's basket would stand up at the game-winner as Philadelphia shot 0-of-5 from the field and turned the ball over once over the final 3:58. Schlitzer had a look to give Philadelphia the win at the buzzer, but his off-balance jumper came up short.
Ryan DeNicola paced the Panthers with 14 points. Morgan and Boris Fodouop scored 13 points each.
Adelphi shot 48.9 percent (23-of-47) from the field, 40.0 percent (6-of-15) from behind the arc. Philadelphia connected at a 32.8 percent (22-of-67) from the floor and hit 23.8 percent (5-of-21) of its 3-point attempts.
Philadelphia outrebounded Adelphi 39-34, including an 18-5 offensive rebounding advantage.
The Rams will face the College of Saint Rose on day two of the tournament on Sunday, Dec. 22 at 1:30 p.m.