Feb. 9, 2008
ASTON, PA. The sixth place Pennsylvania Athletic Conference Neumann Knights hosted the 2nd place Alvernia College Crusaders on Saturday for a matinee game in the Bruder Gymnasium. In the rematch, the Crusaders were looking to avenge a blemish on their nearly perfect record when they were handed a loss from the Knights on February 2nd. The Knights have been playing remarkably, having won three of their last four games, counting the win at Alvernia last weekend. As a team, they are shooting just over 70% from the line and averaging close to 70 points per game. A second win against Alvernia would help put the Knights' playoff hopes within reach.
The game got off to a slow start as both teams had difficulty finding the basket. At the 11:38 mark, the score was only 14-8 in favor of the visitors. The Knights were down by eight points ten minutes into the game when they finally started to turn things around. Derahn Patrick hit a 3 point shot, sparking the offense for the Knights. Eli Hitchens was sent to the line with 6:35 left in the half. Hitchen's two free-throws gave his team their only lead of the game. Another three point shot from Patrick gave the Knights more cushioning putting them up 29-24. Alvernia was able to come back to tie the score with a layup from Zach Westmoreland and two free throws from Eric Barefield. Eli Hitchens fouled Terrence Shawell late in the half sending him to the line where he made both shots putting the Crusaders up by two. The teams traded another set of baskets and at the end of the half the Knights were trailing the Crusaders 33-31.
In the second half, Alvernia went on a 5-0 run putting them ahead of Neumann 37-31. After this run, the Knights were trailing by five for much of the half. Head Coach Mike Gallagher called a time-out to regroup his team five minutes into the half. After this break, the Knights were able to get on the board with a layup from Mike Hitchens. Although Neumann was finally starting to get things rolling in their direction on offense, Alvernia was relentless under the basket, out-rebounding the Knights 46-36.
Both teams were plagued by fouls in the second half. Marquis Boggs fouled out with 5 minutes left in regulation finishing the afternoon with only 2 points. After a another three point basket from Derahn Patrick, his fifth on the day, Alvernia's Matt King also ended his day early on a foul on Eli Hitchens. Hitchens made his basket and went to the line. One made free throw put the Knights just two away with only 4:15 left in the game. After trading baskets a few more times, the Knights were able to rally in the end of the half tying the score with a 3 pointer with 4.3 seconds left. Alvernia's David Washington flashed down the court for a layup but was denied which sent the game into overtime.
The Crusaders started overtime in the same fashion as the second half. The team went on 10-point run and never looked back. Also similar to the second half, it took the Knights close to four minutes to find the basket. Coach Gallagher tried to put the wind back in his team's sails but they were unable to come back from a ten point deficit. With 14 seconds remaining Mike Hitchens fouled out of the game sending Washington to the line for two. After making both shots, the win was out of reach for the Knights. Final score, Alvernia 67, Neumann 62.
On the loss, Mike Gallagher was optimistic stating that "the team played hard and left everything on the floor." Monday's match-up against Cabrini College will be a must-win to ensure the Knight's playoff chances. They travel to meet the Cavalier's at 8:00PM.
Neumann College Athletics Men's Basketball