PHILADELPHIA – Senior guard Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) drained a free throw with 4.8 seconds remaining in regulation to give the Philadelphia University men's basketball team a 72-71 victory over visiting Holy Family in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) game Thursday night in the Gallagher Center.
With the game tied at 71, junior guard Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) drove the left side of the lane and had his layup attempt blocked by Isaiah Gans. The ball ended up in Schlitzer's hands in the left corner, where he was subsequently fouled by Turhan Griffin.
Schlitzer, who scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half, hit the front end of the 1-and-1 to give Philadelphia (17-6, 11-3 CACC) a one-point advantage. After Schlitzer missed the second free throw, Gans grabbed the rebound and called timeout with 4.1 left. On the final possession of the game, Holy Family (18-7, 12-4 CACC) was unable to break the Philadelphia press and couldn't get a shot away.
Junior forwards Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) and Derek Johnson (Conshohocken, Pa./Atlantic Christian) each poured in 18 points for the Rams. Alexis added 11 rebounds to complete his 12 double-double of the season.
Holy Family was in control of the first half after opening the game with a 13-4 run. Gans scored the Tigers' first six points of the game as part of a 17-point evening. Philadelphia managed to cut the gap to 24-22 after Alexis drained a jumper with 5:53 remaining of the half. The Tigers rattled off eight of the next 10 points to establish an eight-point lead (32-24) on a Marvin Crawford 3-pointer, one of 10 the Tigers made during the game.
Johnson knocked down a 3-pointer 20 seconds into the second half to tie the game, one of 10 that would occur in the final 20 minutes, at 32. The Rams took the lead for the first time when Schlitzer hit two free throws at the 13:05 mark.
The lead didn't last long as Holy Family answered the free throws with seven straight points, four from Hunter Wysocki, to take a 52-46 lead. Wysocki finished the game with 10 points.
Philadelphia faced a 54-48 deficit after Reggie Charles stole the ball from Gibbs and made a fast break layup. The Rams got five points from Schlitzer and three from Johnson during an 8-0 run to move in front 56-54 with 7:23 to play.
The Rams owned a 71-68 lead, matching its largest of the game, after junior forward TJ Huggins (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) made a basket with 1:33. Charles, who had 17 points, hit three free throws over the next 58 seconds to tie the game at 71.
Crawford was Holy Family's leading scorer with 18 points.
Philadelphia heads to Nyack for a CACC contest on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 3 p.m.