PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Forward Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) recorded 23 points and 17 rebounds as the Philadelphia University men's basketball team held off host Pace 58-55 in a non-conference tilt Thursday night in the Goldstein Fitness Center.
With the victory, Philadelphia improves to 10-5 overall and Hall of Fame head coach Herb Magee's career win total increases to 995.
Forward Derek Johnson (Conshohocken, Pa./Atlantic Christian) used a perfect 10-for-10 performance at the free throw line to finish with 17 points, 13 coming in the second half.
Guard Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) added 12 points.
The Rams benefitted from a strong night at the free throw line, hitting 21 of their 25 attempts. Ten of Philadelphia's 14 points over the final 7:17 came from the line.
For the second time this season, Philadelphia had its starting five on the court for all 40 minutes.
Two Alexis free throws 5:50 into the second half capped a 9-3 surge that erased a five-point halftime deficit and put the Rams in front 32-31. Alexis scored seven points of the nine points.
After Shelton Mickell hit a layup to give Pace (5-12) a 33-32 advantage, Philadelphia would score 12 of the next 16 points, capped by a Johnson 3-pointer with 8:39 left, to take a game-high 44-37 lead. The Rams shot 5-of-7 from the field and forced two Setter turnovers during the surge.
Mickell brought the Setters to within a point (52-51) when he drained a 3-pointer at the 3:54 mark. Alexis answered with a jumper with 1:56 to play and forward TJ Huggins (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) went 1-of-2 at the free throw line 26 seconds later to push the lead back up to four (55-51).
In the opening half, Alexis gave Philadelphia an early 3-0 lead with a three-point play. Pace came back with eight straight points to move in front 8-3 on a Kyle Pearson layup.
The Setters remained in the lead until Schlitzer made a jumper with 4:58 on the clock to tie the game at 19. Pace broke a 21-all tie with a 7-0 burst to take a 28-21 lead 1:58 before halftime.
Pearson led Pace with 17 points, while Mickell finished up with 16 points.
Philadelphia returns to the Gallagher Center on Sunday, Jan. 18 to face Dominican (N.Y.) in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference contest. Game time is 3 p.m.