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Defense propels men's basketball to 63-53 win over Penn College

Defense propels men's basketball to 63-53 win over Penn College

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – A dominating defensive second half performance allowed the Bryn Athyn College men's basketball team to get back into the win column thanks to a 63-53 triumph over host Penn College in a North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) contest on Saturday afternoon.

The Lions (8-13, 5-7 NEAC) came out of the locker room for the second half trailing 35-26 after the Wildcats (2-18, 1-10 NEAC) shot 40.0 percent (12-of-30) from the field, 33.3 percent (5-of-15) from 3-point range. In the final 20 minutes, Bryn Athyn's defense turned up the intensity and held Penn College to 22.6 percent shooting (7-of-31), 0-of-12 from 3-point range, as the Lions allowed just 18 points, the fewest by an opponent in any half this season. The Lions also forced 12 second-half turnovers.

Bryn Athyn started the second half with a 14-5 run, a team-high five points coming from Larry Stevenson III, to tie the score at 40 on a Lamarr Crenshaw free throw with 12:03 left in the game. Penn College was 2-of-10 from the field, including seven straight misses, and committed five turnovers.

With the score tied at 44, Crenshaw—who scored all 10 of his points in the second half—drained back-to-back layups to spark a 7-0 surge that would put the Lions up 51-44 with 6:43 remaining. Rahim Washington, Bryn Athyn's top player with 13 points and nine rebounds, widened the gap to 56-48 at the 3:45 mark as part of an 11-point second half.

Penn College closed the Bryn Athyn lead to 56-51, but the Lions ended the game on a 7-2 surge over the final 2:29 to seal the game.

Drew Heller came off the bench to score a career-high 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Stevenson III finished the game with 10 points, while Christian Rivera had nine points, seven rebounds, and five assists.

In the first half, neither team was able to gain an edge until the Wildcats closed out the final 2:52 on 10-0 run. The teams traded the lead seven times prior to the half-ending surge by Penn College.

Ben Sosa was Penn College's leading scorer with 14 points and also grabbed 12 rebounds. Jesse White added 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.  The Wildcats owned a 41-33 rebounding edge.

Bryn Athyn ended the game shooting 42.9 percent (24-of-56) from the field, while Penn College shot 31.1 percent (19-of-61).

The Lions continue their string of three straight road games on Sunday, Feb. 4 at Keuka College at 1 p.m.