Statesmen Drop Season High in Points in First Home Game of 2022

William Penn's Q Cager with the flush against Missouri Valley on Saturday.

William Penn’s Q Cager with the flush against Missouri Valley on Saturday.

Oskaloosa–The William Penn men’s basketball team opened 2022 in Penn Gymnasium with a 129-101 victory over the Missouri Valley Vikings.

The Statesmen now own a 6-1 record in the Heart of America Athletic Conference and a 14-1 mark overall.

The navy and gold got off to a hot start offensively, coming away with points on each of their first three possessions, capped off by a triple from Malyk Thomas (Sr., Copperas Cove, Texas, Sports Management). The Vikings briefly kept pace, but successive buckets from Kevion Blaylock (Sr., Houston, Texas, Information Technology), Karmari Newman (Sr., Detroit, Mich., Digital Communication), and Q Cager (Sr., Hopkinsville, Ky., Wellness and Recreation) quickly pushed the lead back to six.

A few minutes later, Josh Watkins (Sr., Chicago, Ill., Sports Management) hit his first three to extend the lead into double digits for the first time. After trading buckets back and forth, Frederick Jackson (Sr., Killeen, Texas, Interdisciplinary Studies) responded with back to back scores, and Chanze Cruesoe (So., St. Louis, Mo., Business Management) tacked on his first points as well to make the score 38-24.

Blaylock checked back into the game and immediately made his presence felt with a dunk. The slam continued what was a huge William Penn run, and the Statesmen went on a 28-9 string that took the score from 26-20 to 54-29. The visitors slowly fought their way back into the game, but the Statesmen entered halftime with a strong 60-44 lead.

At the half, Blaylock already had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Newman had also crossed double digits with 12 points, while Cager contributed eight.

The second half began much like the first with another flurry of scoring. Newman hit a pair of deep balls, and Thomas slammed two home. Blaylock then accounted for the game’s next six points, bringing the William Penn lead to 22.

The Statesmen kept their foot on the gas pedal the rest of the way, extending the lead as far as 28. Watkins took a steady diet of threes and sank three more, while Jackson and Thomas each continued their strong performances. The Statesmen cruised to the finish line, coming away with a season high 129 points in the victory.

Blaylock had about as efficient a day as you can have on Saturday. He shot a perfect 8-8 from the field and a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line, totaling 24 points. He also added 16 rebounds with five assists and only turned the ball over once in only 23 minutes. The double-double was his sixth such effort of the season.

Newman finished with 21 points in the victory, and five other Statesmen reached double digits. Thomas finished with 16, and Cager added 14 to go along with six rebounds. Watkins had 12, Jackson had 11 with seven rebounds, and Malik Edwards (Fr., Drexel Hill, Pa., Business Management) had 10 with six boards. On a night where 32 of the team’s 46 buckets were assisted, Cruesoe led the team with nine.

“We didn’t play very well Wednesday at Mount Mercy, so we gathered ourselves and played really well tonight,” said Head Coach John Henry. “That was a super game for us.”

What’s Next: The Statesmen head to Dubuque on Wednesday for a road tilt against the Clarke Pride. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM.

Posted by on Jan 8 2022. 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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