WALTHAM, Mass. – Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) scored a game-high 24 points in the Philadelphia University men's basketball team's 72-63 season-opening loss to host Bentley Friday night in Dana Hall.
Schlitzer was one of three Philadelphia (0-1) players to score in double figures. Derek Johnson (Conshohocken, Pa./Atlantic Christian) recorded 16 points, while Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) contributed 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
The Rams didn't trail during the opening 20 minutes as they shot 52.0 percent (13-of-25) from the field, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range.
Leading 9-8, Philadelphia would score eight straight points to open up a 17-8 lead on a Schlitzer 3-pointer at the 10:52 mark. The Falcons (1-0) came back with a 7-0 run, capped by a JP Koury bucket, during a 1:41 span to close the gap to 21-20.
Philadelphia's response was an 11-0 surge, which included nine consecutive points from Schlitzer, to take a 32-20 lead with 2:31 left in the half. The lead grew to 35-20 on a Johnson 3-pointer at the 1:11 mark. The Rams led at halftime 35-27.
After Alexis made a layup that allowed the Rams to regain a double-digit lead (44-33), Bentley would go on a 13-2 run to tie the score at 46 on a Ferguson Duke 3-pointer with 10:36 left. Duke led the charge with six points.
An Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) triple sparked an 8-2 spurt that put the Rams back in front 54-48.
Over the final 8:22, Bentley outscored Philadelphia 24-9. The Falcons shot 6-of-9 from the field, while the Rams were 3-of-11 shooting and turned the ball over four times. Bentley took its first lead of the game with 5:02 to go on a Keegan Hyland fee throw.
Tyler McFarland and Koury both scored 18 points for Bentley, while Hyland added 15 points. Koury was the team's leading rebounder with nine.
Philadelphia finished the game shooting 45.3 percent (24-of-53) overall, 9-of-18 from three. Bentley connected on 38.7 percent (24-of-62) of its shots, including 35.7 percent (10-of-28) of its 3-pointers.
The Rams committed 18 turnovers, while the Falcons turned the ball over just four times.
Philadelphia takes on Merrimack on Saturday, Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. at Bentley.