RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Forward Derek Johnson (Conshohocken, Pa./Atlantic Christian) scored a game-high 24 points to lead the Philadelphia University men's basketball team in a 59-55 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) victory over host Felician Saturday afternoon in Job Gym.
Johnson was one of three players in double figures for the Rams (4-4, 2-1 CACC). Forward Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) recorded a double-double for the third straight game with 12 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Guard Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) poured in 12 points.
The Golden Falcons' (0-8, 0-4 CACC) took a team-high 21-12 lead with 6:18 left in the opening half after back-to-back Marko Kozul 3-pointers. Kozul led Felician with 15 points.
Philadelphia responded with 13-4 run, which included six points from Alexis and five from Johnson, to knot the score at 25 on an Alexis fast-break dunk at the 2:31 mark. The Rams were 6-of-9 from the field during the surge.
After Kaison Randolph (Trenton, N.J./Pennington Prep) once again tied the score, Johnson buried a 3-pointer with eight seconds on the clock to give the Rams a 30-27 halftime lead.
The Rams worked the lead up to 10 (41-31), scoring 11 of the first 15 points of the half, on a Johnson fast-break layup with 12:52 left in the contest.
Felician closed the Philadelphia advantage to 43-42 when Jeyvi Miavivululu capped an 11-2 run with a jumper at the 8:39 mark. The Golden Falcons shot 4-of-6 from the field, while the Rams hit just one of their nine attempts.
Eighty seconds later, Kozul knocked down a triple to put the home team back in the lead 45-44.
Philadelphia briefly took a 49-45 advantage thanks to an Alexis basket and a Schlitzer 3-pointer. The Golden Falcons received baskets from Jarryd Horsley-Fordham and Tim Masado on consecutive trips down the floor to tie the game at 49.
After Masado knocked down a 3-pointer at the 3:02 mark to put Felician up 52-51, guard Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) drained a free throw to tie the game. Johnson put Philadelphia back in the lead 54-52 with 1:55 left. Philadelphia made the lead hold up, going 5-of-6 at the free throw line and forcing two Felician misses and a turnover.
Philadelphia shot 33.9 percent (20-of-59) from the field and 75.0 percent (15-of-20) from the line. Felician hit 41.4 percent (24-of-58) of its shot attempts, but went 0-of-4 at the stripe.
The Rams return home to face CACC rival Chestnut Hill on Tuesday, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m.