Saturday, January 6, 2018

Bald Eagles top ESU in back-and-forth PSAC East thriller

The LHU men’s basketball team topped perennial power East Stroudsburg 89-82 today in a thrilling PSAC East grudge match
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. – The Bald Eagles biggest stars stepped up down the stretch and the Lock Haven University men’s basketball team held on for a thrilling 89-82 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division win over perennial power East Stroudsburg University (9-3, 6-2 PSAC).

Amir Hinton (Philadelphia/Abington) powered the Bald Eagles (5-7, 3-5 PSAC) with 23 points and 13 rebounds. He was clutch down the stretch and was one of two Haven players to finish with a double-double. Ra’eese Hunt (Upper Marlboro, Md./Riverdale Baptist) netted 11 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.

Matt Cerruti (Huntingdon Valley, Pa./Archbishop Wood) scored a career-high 20 points and Tarojae Brake (Coatesville, Pa./Octorara) added 16 points. Brake hit a key 3-pointer in the final minute to help seal the victory.

Jihad Barnes (Philadelphia/Philadelphia Electric Charter) chipped in with nine points and five rebounds. Jesse McPherson (Philadelphia/Archbishop Carroll) had eight points and six boards.

East Stroudsburg entered today’s game averaging 96.5 points per game, which led the PSAC by nearly 10 points per game and ranked third in the NCAA (DII). Today marked just the second conference loss of the season for the Warriors, who were limited to just 26 first-half points.

The game featured a tale of two halves. After host Lock Haven jumped out to a huge first-half lead, the Warriors opened the second half with a pair of lopsided runs to get back into the game. LHU’s dominance in the first half and East Stroudsburg second-half response set up the thrilling ending to a game that featured fast and physical play.

The Bald Eagles led 43-26 at halftime thanks in large part to 16 first-half points from Cerruti. Hunt had 11 rebounds in the first as well.

Despite Lock Haven’s big halftime lead, the game was tied 51-51 with 12:35 to play, and ESU took a lead shortly after fighting back and tying the game. The Warriors used two big runs in the first 10 minutes of the second half to take the lead.

Hinton made a layup and followed it up with two made free throws to stretch the Bald Eagles’ lead to 68-60 with 6:57 left in the game.

The pace picked up, as did the fouls, and free-throw shooting proved to a big difference over the final six minutes of the contest.

Brake knocked down a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left that put Lock Haven up 85-79, which helped seal the game for the Bald Eagles.

The win was LHU’s second straight in PSAC East play.

Lock Haven will return to action on Monday (Jan. 8) when the Bald Eagles travel to California (Pa.) University for a 7:30 p.m. tip. It will be the first of three games next week as LHU also travels to Shippensburg on Wednesday before hosting nationally-ranked West Chester Saturday.

Box Score

Newspaper Box Score
East Stroudsburg vs Lock Haven
01/06/18 4:00 pm at Lock Haven, Pa. (Thomas Fieldhouse)
At Lock Haven, Pa. (Thomas Fieldhouse)
KRAWCZENIUK, Ryan 6-10 5-6 20; HARRIS, Steve 6-10 4-11 16; WISE, Ralik 5-11
4-5 14; GIORDANO, Nick 3-9 0-0 8; WALLS, Kitt Najee 2-2 4-8 8; NWANDU, Kobi
3-7 1-4 7; RODRIGUEZ, Marc 1-3 1-1 4; JONES, Jakwan 1-3 1-2 3; WILLIAMS,
Josh 0-3 2-2 2; MORGAN, Montrel 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 27-62 22-39 82.
LOCK HAVEN (5-7, 3-5 PSAC)
Amir Hinton 5-13 13-17 23; Matt Cerruti 5-9 9-9 20; Tarojae Brake 4-15 6-7
16; Ra'eese Hunt 2-7 7-9 11; Jihad Barnes 3-5 2-3 9; Jesse McPherson 3-3 2-2
8; Marques Jackson 1-3 0-2 2; Christian Kelly 0-0 0-0 0; Justin Henry 0-0
0-0 0. Totals 23-55 39-49 89.
East Stroudsburg..............   26   56  -   82
Lock Haven....................   43   46  -   89
3-point goals--East Stroudsburg 6-25 (KRAWCZENIUK, Ryan 3-6; GIORDANO, Nick
2-7; RODRIGUEZ, Marc 1-3; NWANDU, Kobi 0-2; JONES, Jakwan 0-1; WILLIAMS,
Josh 0-2; MORGAN, Montrel 0-3; WISE, Ralik 0-1), Lock Haven 4-11 (Tarojae
Brake 2-5; Jihad Barnes 1-1; Matt Cerruti 1-3; Ra'eese Hunt 0-1; Amir Hinton
0-1). Fouled out--East Stroudsburg-HARRIS, Steve; WISE, Ralik; NWANDU, Kobi,
Lock Haven-Jesse McPherson; Ra'eese Hunt; Marques Jackson. Rebounds--East
Stroudsburg 31 (HARRIS, Steve 7; NWANDU, Kobi 7), Lock Haven 53 (Amir Hinton
13). Assists--East Stroudsburg 12 (GIORDANO, Nick 3), Lock Haven 9 (Tarojae
Brake 3). Total fouls--East Stroudsburg 36, Lock Haven 27. Technical
fouls--East Stroudsburg-TEAM, Lock Haven-Ra'eese Hunt; Jesse McPherson; Amir
Hinton. A-201

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