School Records Fall in 113-103 Defeat of Bees
Oskaloosa–The William Penn men’s basketball team won its ninth contest in a row, but a poor post-halftime defensive showing made for a tight ending in a 113-103 Midwest Collegiate Conference win against St. Ambrose Saturday.
The Statesmen (23-1, 7-0 MCC), who are leading NAIA Division II in scoring (97.2 ppg), broke the century mark for the program-record eighth time this winter. Their 113 points were also the most in conference play since joining the NAIA in 2001-2002.
The home team took the lead for good at 7-5, and only led 17-13 midway through the first stanza. The navy and gold exploded on the offensive end, however, to lead 52-28 at intermission. The Fighting Bees (7-14, 2-5 MCC) assisted the Statesmen cause by turning the ball over 18 times in the first 20 minutes, good for 13 WPU points.
The margin slimmed to 15 points before William Penn caught on fire again, going up by as much as 30 points at 95-65 with 7:46 remaining.
Unfortunately, little went right from there as St. Ambrose outscored their hosts 29-8 to pull within single digits at 103-94 with 1:13 still on the clock. The teams only exchanged points in the waning seconds, though, keeping the Statesmen, winners of nine in a row, undefeated in league play.
William Penn was outshot 53.0%-47.2%, but made up for that by getting to the line a school-record 56 times (SAU was whistled for 39 fouls). The Statesmen’s 37 made shots also tied another program mark. A closely-called contest witnessed the Fighting Bees also going 26-of-35 at the stripe.
A 43-37 rebounding advantage (19-10 offensively) led to the Statesmen outscoring St. Ambrose 21-14 in second-chance points.
Brandon Beasley (Sr., Indianapolis, Ind., Physical Education) topped his squad with 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting. He also recorded team highs in rebounds (7), steals (3), and blocks (2).
Keith Steffeck (Sr., Marion, Iowa, Physical Education) was next with 21 points, while Lamonte Jenkins (Fr., Lake Charles, La., Business Management) led all bench players with 18 points.
James Devlin (Sr., Tampa, Fla., Sociology) added 16 points, while Kevin Fay (Jr., Hennepin, Ill., Education) also reached double figures with 13 points (team-high three three-pointers). Erik McGee (So., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Undecided) was 5-of-6 at the charity stripe for five points in just four minutes of action.
Blake Walker (Jr., Rose Garden, Ga., Physical Education) assisted on seven field goals. St. Ambrose finished with 25 turnovers, compared to 21 giveaways for WPU.
Next: William Penn travels to Mount Pleasant Wednesday to face Iowa Wesleyan in non-conference action at 7 p.m.