INDIANA, Pa. -- California (Pa.) withstood a late second-half run on Saturday night to claim a 59-56 victory at rival Indiana (Pa.) in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West play at the Kovalchick Complex and Athletic Center.
With the win, the Vulcans improve to 8-9 overall with a 3-4 mark in league play. The victory also snapped a seven-game losing streak by the Vulcans in road games against the Crimson Hawks, as their last road win in the series came during the 2007-08 season. Meanwhile, IUP falls to 14-2 this season behind a 4-2 record in divisional action.
Sophomore Jake Jacubec scored a team-high 15 points after shooting 5 of 9 from the floor, including 3 of 4 from beyond the arc. Since being held to a season-low two points on Dec. 21, he is averaging 15.7 points during the past six games.
Junior Arman Marksadded 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench, while senior Chris Williams finished with 11 points, five rebounds and three assists. Junior forward Alonzo Murphy recorded game highs of 12 rebounds and three blocks on Saturday.
No. 1 West Liberty 77, Fairmont State 60
WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. -- The highest-scoring team in the nation got it done with defense Saturday afternoon as unbeaten West Liberty held Fairmont State to 36 percent shooting in the second half in coasting to a 77-60 win at a jam-packed ASRC.
With the upset-minded Falcons (10-5, 5-4) running the shot clock down into single digits on nearly every possession, coach Jim Crutchfield's Hilltoppers (14-0, 10-0) closed the first half on an 11-2 run to take a 35-30 lead into intermission.
"It's not like we haven't had teams hold the ball on us before," Crutchfield said. "We told our guys that defense was the name of the game for the second half. They're limiting their own shot clock to about 14-15 seconds on every trip so if we could bear down and string some stops together, we'd have a chance to open things up."
Fairmont had shot a blistering 61 percent (11 of 18) from the floor to keep things close in the first half but when West Liberty tightened down the defensive screws for the second half, the Falcons had no answer.
Consecutive 3-pointers from backup guards Kelvin Goodwin and Devin Hoehn produced the Hilltoppers' first double-digit lead and C.J. Hester followed with a put-back hoop to cap a 10-1 WLU run and put the hosts up 53-39 with just under 12 minutes remaining.
Goodwin and Hoehn scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, to lead West Liberty in scoring while Cedric Harris and Shawn Dyer finished with a dozen points each.
No. 2 Bellarmine 106, St. Joseph's (Ind.) 60
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- After suffering its first defeat of the year two nights ago, Bellarmine bounced back in a big way by racing out to an 18-0 lead and pounding the visiting St. Joseph's Pumas 103-60 on Saturday afternoon in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game in Knights Hall.
Five different Knights scored in double figures, led by Jake Thelen with 20 and Vance Hall and Rusty Troutman with 16 each. Meanwhile, the Knights' defense bottled up GLVC leading scorer, Cameron Vines, holding him to his lowest point production of the season with 14, seven of which came with less than five minutes remaining in the game.
The outcome was never in doubt for the Knights as just one minute and 47 seconds into the contest, Bellarmine owned a 10-point lead. The Pumas never cut the deficit into single digits with Bellarmine jumping out to a 20-2 lead at the 15:41 mark.
No. 3 Florida Southern 87, Florida Tech 85
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Trailing by six points with a little more than 90 seconds left in the game on Saturday evening against Florida Tech, the Moccasins rallied to score 12 of the game's final 15 points to post a thrilling come-from-behind 87-85 victory against the Panthers in Sunshine State Conference action at Jenkins Field House.
The win kept the Mocs' perfect season intact as they improved to 17-0 overall and 6-0 in the SSC and ran their home-court win streak to 14 consecutive games dating to its 83-78 loss last season to Florida Tech. Since that loss to the Panthers last season, the Mocs have posted a 25-1 record with it only other setback being against Western Washington in last year's national quarterfinals. In addition, the victory also extended their win streak in SSC play to nine consecutive games.
Kevin Capers did most of the damage offensively on the night for the Mocs as he tied his career high with 32 points, including tallying 19 of them in the second half to help the Mocs rally from an 11-point deficit just five minutes into the second half. The 32 points moved Capers into 16th place on the school's all-time scoring charts with 1,180 points and is now 20 points shy of becoming the 15th Moccasin to score 1,200 career points.
In addition to Capers, Stephen Battle finished with 17 points, including scoring 10 after halftime, while senior guard Frank Adams added 11 points and six boards and Lamar McKnight tallied 10 points and five boards in the win.
No. 4 Metro State 78, Fort Lewis 65
DURANGO, Colo. -- Brandon Jefferson scored 31 points as No. 4 Metro State rallied from a second-half deficit to win 78-65 at Fort Lewis on Saturday night.The Roadrunners improved to 14-1 overall and 11-0 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, while FLC fell to 11-4 and 8-3 in the RMAC.
Jefferson, the reigning RMAC offensive player of the week and RMAC preseason player of the year, buried 10 of 15 from the floor, including 4 of 5 3-point field goals. He also made all seven of his free-throw attempts, stretching his school record to 34 consecutive free throws made. Jefferson added six rebounds, a game-high five assists and three steals. It was Jefferson's third game in the past four with 30-plus points.
Jamal McClerkin scored a career-high 15 points, hitting a career-high three 3-pointers. Nicholas Kay recorded his second consecutive double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Mitch McCarron had seven points and six rebounds before fouling out in the second half.
A tough Metro State defense held the Skyhawks to just 35.2 percent shooting with a plus-six (41-35) rebounding margin. The Roadrunners also won the turnover battle 11-14.
Alex Herrera and Mike Matthews each had 17 points to lead Fort Lewis.
No. 6 Tarleton State 76, Cameron 52
STEPHENVILLE, Texas – Tarleton State's Tashawn Mabry paced the Texan offense with a career-high 21 points to help lead his squad to a 76-52 Lone Star Conference win against the Cameron Aggies in front of a sellout crowd Saturday night at Wisdom Gym in Stephenville.
Mabry had just three points at halftime, but he sank four 3-pointers in the second half to help the Texans extend their best start in school history to 15-0 overall and take sole possession of first place in the LSC with a 4-0 mark.
The victory pushed Tarleton's all-time record as a senior college to 725-724 overall, giving the Texan basketball program its first winning record.
When Tarleton opened play as a senior college in 1961, the Texans dropped its first contest before picking up a victory in its second game to move to .500. A nine-game losing streak followed and the program would not see a winning record until Saturday's 24-point victory.
No. 9 Cal State San Bernardino 87, Sonoma State 71
ROHNERT PARK, Calif. -- A sight unseen in 10 seasons became a reality Saturday night for No. 9 Cal State San Bernardino.
The Coyotes stretched their longest winning streak since the 2003-04 season with victory number 13 in an 81-71 victory against host Sonoma State in CCAA basketball.
CSUSB (13-1 overall and 10-0 CCAA), behind seniors Lacy Haddock and Jordan Burris with 13 points each, maintained their vise-like grip on sound second-half play. For the ninth time in the last 10 games CSUSB did not trail in the second half as it pulled away from the Seawolves (2-12, 1-9).
The Coyotes, who led 36-33 at the break, shot 50 percent from the field in the second half and outscored the Seawolves 15-4 off 10 SSU turnovers for their fifth-consecutive double-digit victory.
Haddock stepped up in a critical four-plus minute stretch that allowed the Coyotes to secure precious distance. Leading 45-42 with 16:15 remaining he scored eight points in a 15-5 run and gave CSUSB a 60-47 lead with 10:47 left.
Burris's 3-pointer with 5:49 left pushed the Coyotes' advantage to 69-55 and seniors Andrew Young and Kirby Gardner helped CSUSB reach leads as large as 15 with a free throw and a 3-pointer, respectively, in the final 3:48.
All told, five Coyotes scored in double figures. Young had 12 and Gardner 11. Junior Casey Oldenmoppen was 5-of-5 from the field for 10 points.
SSU, which shot a opponent best 56.3 percent from the field, was undone by 22 turnovers.
No. 10 Southern Indiana 73, Indianapolis 64
EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- Southern Indiana won the battle of the second half and defeated Indianapolis 73-64 on Saturday afternoon at the Physical Activities Center. USI rises to 13-1 overall and 5-1 in the GLVC, while UIndy falls to 12-2 overall, 4-2 GLVC.
After the teams fought to a 32-32 halftime draw, the Screaming Eagles used a 9-0 run to begin the final half and take command of the game. The Greyhounds, however, pawed their way back into the contest, cutting the margin to three points, 43-40, but that would be as close as they would get the rest of the way.
USI extended the second half lead to as many as 12 points, 57-45, with 3:53 to play before settling for the nine-point, 73-64 victory.
Individually, USI senior guard Lawrence Thomas led all scorers with a game-high 16 points, 10 coming in the deciding half. He was 3 of 7 from the field, 2 of 3 from long range, while dropping in a perfect 8 of 8 from the line.
Senior forward Aaron Nelson hung onto his double-double streak with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Nelson, who has 14 double-doubles this year, was 2 of 2 from the floor and 7 of 8 from the line, while all 10 rebounds came on the defensive end.
The final Eagle to reach double-figures was junior guard Evan Brinkmeyer. Brinkmeyer posted a career-high 12 points on a field goal and 10 of 12 from the charity stripe. He has registered a career-best in each of the past two games.