Big First Half Leads William Penn Past Clarke
Oskaloosa–The Statesmen men’s basketball squad did not play its best game, but did enough to defeat Clarke 85-69 in Heart of America Athletic Conference action Wednesday.
#2 William Penn (24-3, 20-3 Heart), which notched its sixth-straight victory, jumped out to a 50-35 halftime lead and then held off a second-half rally by the Crusaders (9-18, 7-16 Heart).
The navy and gold went wire-to-wire and is one win or one Benedictine loss away from clinching a share of the regular season league crown.
WPU outshot CU 45.6%-43.1% and also outrebounded the visitors 45-34. The victors pushed the lead to 55-37 early in the second stanza, but the Crusaders would not go away, trimming the advantage to eight on three separate occasions.
Fortunately, ahead just 70-62, William Penn shut the door for good with an 11-2 run to seal the win. The hosts held a 13-5 edge in points off turnovers (WPU had 16 turnovers, CU had 21) and a 15-9 mark in second-chance points.
Torren Jones (Sr., Chandler, Ariz., Sociology) guided WPU with a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds; he was 8-for-11 from the field (7-for-8 FT).
Lionel Ellison (Sr., New Orleans, La., Kinesiology) was also effective in obtaining his 12 points (4-for-5 FG, 3-for-4 3-PT). The senior also recorded four assists and two blocks. Jarvis Haywood (Sr., Charlotte, N.C., Business Management) and Kevin Smith (Sr., Baltimore, Md., Physical Education) hit the double-digit mark as well as both tallied 10 points.
Kordario Fleming (Sr., Memphis, Tenn., Physical Education) and Elijah Williams (Jr., Chicago, Ill., Physical Education) contributed six points each, while Brandon Trotter (Jr., Louisville, Ky., Kinesiology) and Rufus Williams (Sr., Tuscaloosa, Ala., Physical Education) managed five apiece.
“This was not our best effort tonight, but we are always happy with a 16-point victory,” Head Coach John Henry said.
Next Up: William Penn travels to Lamoni Saturday to face Graceland in Heart action at 4 p.m.