Injuries Plague WPU in First Loss of Season

William Penn University Athletics

William Penn University Athletics

by Wade Steinlage

Olathe, Kan.–The Statesmen men’s basketball team could not make up for the loss of a pair of starters as it fell 63-61 to #19 MidAmerica Nazarene in Heart of America Athletic Conference action Saturday.

#2 William Penn (11-1, 5-1 Heart) was held to its lowest point total since the NAIA national title game in 2013, yet still had a chance to remain perfect in the top-25 battle. Unfortunately, playing without Marlon Alcindor (Sr., Queens, N.Y., Sociology) (out for last three games) and Shamar Bailey-DeCoteau (Jr., Toronto, Ontario, Undecided) (hurt in warmups, only played two minutes), the navy and gold could not muster enough offense, being outshot 35.3%-33.8%.

In a matchup that featured five ties and 10 lead changes, the visitors shot 42.4% in the opening stanza to take a 39-32 halftime lead. Bailey-DeCoteau’s absence was felt, but not early on as Eddie Daley (So., DeWitt, Mich., Sports Management) stepped in and scored five points right away. Q Cager (Fr., Hopkinsville, Ky., Sports Management), one of three in double figures, was the squad’s best player in the initial 20 points, scoring all of his 13 points before intermission.

The latter half was one to forget for the Statesmen as the Pioneers (7-3, 3-3 Heart) limited WPU to 25.0% and blocked seven WPU attempts (11 total).

William Penn was in control at 51-38 with 14:30 to go, but was outscored 23-7 to eventually trail by three in the final seconds. TaJuan Johnson (Jr., Chicago, Ill., Business Management) nearly forced overtime, however, by connecting on a three-pointer with 11 ticks to go, but unfortunately MNU scored inside the last second to take the upset. The Statesmen were solid from deep, going 9-for-23 overall; Cager and Johnson each made three long bombs.

Johnson paced WPU with 14 points, while Cager and Darius Wheeler (Sr., Jonesboro, Ga., Sports Administration) each joined the double-digit club with 13 points apiece.

Omar Sherman (Sr., Duncanville, Texas) was held to eight points in addition to a team-high 11 rebounds and five blocks. WPU outrebounded MidAmerica Nazarene 46-42, but was outscored 9-2 in second-chance points. Conversely, the Statesmen had five more turnovers than their hosts (20-15), but held a 15-13 edge in points off mistakes.

Abrian Edwards (Sr., Austin, Texas, Kinesiology) dished out six assists in the setback.

Saturday’s contest was the complete opposite of Thursday’s event against Clarke with only 27 fouls whistled and just 19 free throws taken. William Penn took advantage of its few tries, going a perfect 8-for-8.

“We played a very poor second half today,” Head Coach John Henry said. “I cannot remember a William Penn team ever scoring just 22 points in a half. We could not score at all, yet we still had a chance to win. Having two starters out definitely hurt.”

Next Up: William Penn returns home next Saturday to face Peru State in Heart action at 4 p.m.

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Posted by on Dec 2 2018. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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