PHILADELPHIA, November 25, 2011 – The La Salle Explorers and the University of Pennsylvania took the floor in the Philly Hoops Classic doubleheader at the Palestra. Both schools went down to defeat as the Philadelphia schools lost to the visitors from Pittsburgh. Robert Morris beat La Salle 51 – 44, then Pitt won 78 – 58 over Penn.
ROBERT MORRIS 51 LA SALLE 44
In a game that was downright ugly at times, Robert Morris University Colonials (RMU) got some separation near the end of the game to get the 7 point victory over the La Salle Explorers. La Salle outshot RMU 31.9% to 28%, RMU made no 3-Point shots. However, the Colonials made 23 of 34 free throws compared to 11 of 18 for La Salle. The most telling statistic was that RMU out-rebounded La Salle 45 – 30, 15 – 7 on the offensive glass.
The game was tied at 19 at halftime. The game was tied at 35 with 9:06 to play. RMU went out to a 5 point lead twice down the stretch, but La Salle kept fighting back to make it a one possession game at 47 – 44 with under a minute to play. The Colonials made 4 free throws and kept the Explorers off the scoreboard until the end. The 7 point margin was the largest lead of the game for both schools.
Sophomore Guard Sam Mills was the only double-figure scorer for the Explorers getting a game-high 15 points. Freshman Forward Jerrell Wright pulled down 7 rebounds. Guard Velton Jones scored 14 points while Forward and Chester resident Russell Johnson had 12 points and 7 rebounds. Forward Lawrence Bridges and Guard Coron Williams also pulled down 7 rebounds each. La Salle is 2 – 3 on the season, while Robert Morris improves to 4 – 1. La Salle meets Rider on the Saturday afternoon session.
PITT 78 PENN 58
The final margin of victory was the largest lead of the game for the Pitt Panthers against the Penn Quakers. Pitt used physicality and a superior inside game to get a hard-earned win. Pitt had a 48 – 16 advantage in Points in the Paint, a 29 – 16 edge in Points Off Turnovers, and a 12 – 0 Fast Break point lead. Penn committed 16 turnovers in the game compared to 9 for Pitt. The Panthers shot 31 – 53 (58.5%) against Penn who made 21 of 52 (40.4%). The Quakers did not go away quietly as they trailed by single digits midway through the second half behind the shooting of Senior Guard Zack Rosen who had a game-high 22 points for Penn. Rosen made 8 of 16 shots and was 6 of 10 from beyond the arc. Penn also out-rebounded Pitt 32 – 20, 14 – 8 on the offensive boards. Senior Guard Tyler Bernardini added 14 points for the Red and Blue, and he grabbed a team-high 5 rebounds.
Pitt had 4 players in double figures. Guard Ashton Gibbs led the team with 16 points, 13 in the second half. Forward Khem Birch scored 15 points and had a game-high 10 rebounds. Forward and Chester native Nasir Robinson scored 14 points. Forward J.J. Moore had 12 points and 6 rebounds. Guard Travon Woodall handed out a game-high 7 assists.
Penn is 3 – 3 this season while Pitt improves to 4 – 1. Penn plays James Madison in the Saturday night session.
Written By: Glenn Papazian