PHILADELPHIA – All five Philadelphia University men's basketball starters scored in double figures to defeat visiting Holy Family 69-62 and move into first place in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) southern division Tuesday night in the Gallagher Center.
Philadelphia improves 15-5 overall and 9-2 in CACC play. The Rams close out the month of January with a 7-1 record, 5-0 in home games. Philadelphia has now won its eight games at the Gallagher Center.
Holy Family is now 15-6 overall, 9-3 against the conference.
Sophomore guard Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) paced the Rams with 16 points, a career-high eight rebounds, and six assists. Sophomore forward Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) contributed 13 points and nine rebounds. It is the third straight game that Alexis has grabbed nine rebounds.
Junior guard Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) had 12 points and eight rebounds. Senior guard Nick Christian (Bensalem, Pa./Bensalem) added 10 points and nine rebounds, while sophomore forward Derek Johnson (Conshohocken, Pa./Atlantic Christian) had 10 points and nine boards.
The Tigers received 16 points and six rebounds from Isaiah Gans. Ervin Ezell recorded 15 points and six assists, and Khiry Hankins posted 14 points and four steals.
A pair of Gans triples and a third from Hankins allowed the Tigers to take an eight-point lead (13-5), their largest of the game, 6:08 into the contest. Philadelphia scored the game's next nine points, capped by a Gibbs trey, over a 4:28 span to take a 14-13 lead.
Holy Family reestablished a seven-point lead (35-28) on an Ezell 3-pointer with 49 seconds left in the half. Philadelphia trimmed to the least 37-31 before the break.
The Rams opened the second half strong with the first seven points of the half to move 38-37 on a Schlitzer three with 17:18 to play. After Holy Family regained a two-point lead (40-38) on a Hankins triple, Philadelphia answered with a 12-2 run to take a 50-42 lead at the 11:23 mark.
A Schlitzer basket with 4:16 remaining gave the Rams their largest lead of the night, 57-46. Holy Family fought back with an 8-0 run to get within three (59-56) on two made Ezell free throws with 1:23 to play.
Philadelphia would shoot a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line over the final 46 seconds to keep Holy Family at bay.
Philadelphia shot 42.1 percent (24-of-57) from the field, 30.0 percent (6-of-20) from 3-point range. Holy Family hit 32.8 percent (21-of-64) of its shots, 28.9 percent (11-of-38) behind the arc. The Rams outrebounded the Tigers 48-35.
Philadelphia heads to Caldwell for a CACC battle on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 3 p.m.