PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia University men's basketball team opened the 2014 portion of its schedule with an 81-73 victory over visiting Saint Anselm in a non-conference tilt Thursday afternoon in the Gallagher Center.
Sophomore forward Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) paced the Rams (9-4) with 25 points and 14 points, both game-highs, to record his team-leading eighth double-double of the season.
Sophomore guard Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) netted 19 points and dished out a team-best five assists. Sophomore forward Derek Johnson (Conshohocken, Pa./Atlantic Christian) scored 16 points, while junior guard Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) had 12 points.
Gibbs hit two free throws at the 15:52 of the opening half to break an 8-8 tie and spark a 10-0 Philadelphia run. After going on the surge, which had four points each from Gibbs and Alexis, the Rams would play from in front the rest of the way.
Another 10-0 run later in the half allowed Philadelphia to take a game-high 15-point lead (37-22) with 3:48 left. Alexis scored six of the 10 points, while Johnson added three.
The Hawks (7-4) closed the gap to three at the 7:41 mark of the second half when Victor Joshua hit a second-chance basket to make the score 61-58. Thanks to consecutive2-fof-2 trips at the free throw line from Schlitzer and sophomore TJ Huggins (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams), Philadelphia regained a seven-point cushion (65-58) with 6:34 to play.
Saint Anselm got within three points one last time as John Nielsen knocked down a 3-pointer with 5:12 on the clock to make it a 65-62 game.
Schlitzer answered the basket with a jumper and two good free throws in a 40-second span to Philadelphia back up seven (69-62) and end any threat of a Saint Anselm rally.
Roy Mabrey led the Hawks with 19 points and six rebounds. Chris Santo contributed 18 points and four rebounds, while Dino Mallios added 11 points and eight assists.
Philadelphia shot 51.9 percent (27-of-52) from the field and 75.8 percent (25-of-33) at the free throw line. It was the fifth game this season that the Rams shot at least 50.0 percent and the team is 5-0 in the contests.
The Hawks connected at a 44.6 percent (29-of-65) clip from the floor and went 9-of-10 from the free throw line.
Philadelphia dominated the rebounding battle, 43-23.
Philadelphia returns to action with its final non-conference game of the season on Saturday, Jan. 4 against visiting Pace at 2 p.m.