Pippa Passes, KY: The Alice Lloyd College Eagles poured in 59 second-half points to overcome a 36-29 halftime deficit and defeat the Point Park University Pioneers, 88-69. The River States Conference matchup took place Saturday, February 1st.
In the first half, the host fans would see senior guard Blake Smith and junior guard Noah Young combine to score 9 early points. With 11:00 showing on the clock, ALC led 15-9.
The visitors refused to go away and would retake the lead four minutes later on a jumper from guard Sherron Schifino (23-22). PPU would then control the pace and hold the high scoring Eagles to just one bucket during a five-minute stretch. When the Pennsylvania squad drained a deep jumper just before the period ended, they would take a 36-29 advantage heading into intermission.
In the second half, Alice Lloyd came out of the dressing room with determination in their eyes. Over the first four minutes, they would get five crucial points from senior guard Ian Lee to help tie the score at 38 apiece. However, the crucial factor would come in the form of defense. The Eagles tightened up the screws on that end of the floor and made it extremely difficult for PPU to score.
Over the final ten minutes of the contest, the entire team would contribute big in some fashion, as the hometown boys began to slowly pull away.
The frustrated visitors than began to foul. However, that strategy backfired as ALC bagged nearly all of their charity attempts. With things now clicking on both ends of the court, the boys from Caney Creek pulled away for the impressive victory.
For Alice Lloyd (12-11; 6-5 RSC), now winners of three straight, they were led by the solid play of Smith, who produced a game-high 32 points. PPU tried desperately to keep the prolific scorer from his usual game, and he went to the line 24 times as they kept fouling him. Smith made them pay by draining 22 of his attempts. For good measure, he added 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1 block.
Lee came through in a big way with a much-needed 14 points, bagging 3-5 from deep. He added 4 rebounds. Sophomore guard Bryce Slone, who was regulated to the bench in early foul trouble, still swished 4-6 from downtown to contribute 14 more points. Young was equally impressive as he controlled the flow of the game in the second half. He sank 5-10 field goals and added 11 points while blazing the way with 5 assists.
Additionally, sophomore forward Will Phillpot, the conferences leading rebounder, was forced to sit for large stretches of the game with foul difficulties. Despite this, he still managed to lead all players with 8 strong rebounds. Furthermore, the sophomore duo of center Colyn Sturgill and Chandler Stewart each contributed big plays in the critical second-half run on both ends of the court.
After connecting on only 33% the opening stanza, ALC sank 55.5% the second half to finish at 43.9 % from the field (25-57), including 46.7% (7-15) from deep. They sank an impressive 86.1% of their free throws (31-36), which included an eye-opening 25-27 (92.5%) in the crucial second half. Additionally, they controlled the glass with 44 big rebounds,12 assists, and 2 steals.
PPU (12-12; 4-6 RSC) was led by Schifino with 18 points. His club shot 36.7% (22-60) from the field, including 40% (12-30) from deep. From the charity stripe, they finished 56.5% (13-23). They connected on 70% (14-20) of their charity tosses, and also had 33 rebounds, 12 assists, and 2 steals.
Alice Lloyd returns to the hardwood on Tuesday, February 4th when they travel to highly regarded (Receiving Votes) Indiana University Southeast for a contest with big conference implications. Tipoff is set for 7:30 pm.