William Penn Takes Low-Scoring Affair for 14th in a Row

Oskaloosa–The Statesmen men’s basketball team continues to find ways to win as it held on in atypical fashion, defeating Graceland 64-58 in Heart of America Athletic Conference action Saturday.

William Penn (18-2, 14-0 Heart), which stretched its winning streak to 14 in a row, faced quite the battle against the Yellowjackets (12-8, 7-7 Heart). Slowing down the game and keeping the score low seemed to be GU’s gameplan and it certainly kept the home team within striking distance all game.

Neither team shot well with WPU gaining the edge at 41.3%-37.1%. Rebounding, normally one of the Statesmen’s strong suits, also barely went in their favor, 40-39.

The Statesmen got off to a hot start, gaining a 7-2 advantage. That edge would quickly dissipate, however, as the Yellowjackets went ahead 11-9 a few minutes later. William Penn answered back with four straight to get on top again and took a 32-29 lead going into halftime.

In a back-and-forth bout that witnessed five ties and four lead changes, the visitors appeared to finally get GU on the ropes with a 55-42 lead at the 7:54 mark. Unfortunately, the Yellowjackets dominated the next five minutes and took their final lead at 58-57 with three minutes still on the clock.

The Statesmen, however, have been in more than enough tight matchups this year and locked it down on both ends in the waning moments. Immediately after his team lost the lead, Daniel Autrey (Jr., Detroit, Mich., Business Management) fired up a go-ahead three-pointer. It was off the mark, but he pulled down the rebound and then attempted a layup, which was also missed. Fortunately, Muneer Newton (Fr., Philadelphia, Pa., Business Management) was there for the tip-in and WPU took back the lead for good.

Back-to-back layups from Chanze Cruesoe (Jr., St. Louis, Mo., Business Management) and Malik Edwards (So., Drexel Hill, Pa., Business Management) then put the game away for William Penn.

Cruesoe and James Pennington (Sr., Chicago, Ill., Sports Management), who came off the bench, headlined WPU with 14 points each. A game after breaking the school record for career assists, Cruesoe distributed four helpers Saturday.

Autrey joined Cruesoe and Pennington in double figures with 10 points, while CJ Washington (Jr., Houston, Texas, Interdisciplinary Studies) added seven points. Edwards and Eddie Daley (Grad., DeWitt, Mich., Master’s of Organizational Leadership) both had five points; Daley and Newton corralled seven rebounds apiece.

“The game was really low-scoring, which is not necessarily our style, but we came away with the win,” said Head Coach John Henry. “This was a gritty, gutty effort by the fellas. I am very proud of this win.”

Next Up: William Penn returns to Oskaloosa next Wednesday, hosting Culver-Stockton in Heart play at 7:30 p.m.

Posted by on Jan 22 2023. 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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