MBB: STATESMEN SURVIVE DOUBLE OT BATTLE

MBB: Statesmen Survive Double OT Battle

OSKALOOSA — The William Penn men’s basketball team had a rough night in many ways and was forced into 10 extra minutes of action, but did enough down the stretch to claim a 93-91 double-overtime victory over Columbia in non-conference play Saturday.

#13 William Penn (4-1) held Columbia (5-3) to just 36.8% percent from the floor, but the Statesmen did not shoot much better at 37.5%.  WPU won the rebound battle 65-50 as well, including 24 offensive boards that led to 18 second-chance points.  The Statesmen, however, committed six more turnovers than the Cougars (16-10) and had to overcome a 16-8 deficit in points off mistakes.  They also had to make up for a poor showing at the free-throw line, going just 19-for-34 (55.9%).

The home squad had the lead for most of the first half, running it up to as much as an eight-point advantage at 14-6 before the Cougars battled back.  CC eventually went ahead 33-31 with 2:24 left, but Daniel Rosenber (So., Burnsville, Minn., Sports Management) rebounded his own three-point attempt and laid it in to tie the contest at 33-33 entering halftime.

The Statesmen appeared to finally have the contest in control, pulling out to a nine-point edge at 67-58 with 5:44 left in regulation.  Unfortunately, the Cougars were not an easy out and went on a 7-0 run.  The Statesmen pushed the margin back to five, but Columbia managed to knot it up once more in the final minute of regulation.  Both sides had chances in the waning seconds, including a trifecta by Chanze Cruesoe (Jr., St. Louis, Mo., Business Management), but the shots were off-target and William Penn went to overtime for the first time this season.

William Penn led for the entire first overtime until CC tied it at 80-80 with 57 ticks to go.  The navy and gold then failed on a pair of field goals and four free throws, but fortunately the Cougars also came up empty and the hosts headed to their first double-overtime bout since the 2019-2020 campaign, a 93-88 win over Peru State.

Just as it had during the first extra session, WPU led nearly the entire second overtime, but the visitors recaptured the edge at 91-89 with 1:11 to go.  Malik Edwards (Fr., Drexel Hill, Pa., Business Management) then cut the deficit in half with a free throw and on the next trip down the court, he collected a weak-side rebound off a missed layup by Cruesoe and put it back in with 30 seconds left.

After a defensive stop by the Statesmen, Cruesoe tacked on one more free throw, but the door was still open for Columbia.  Despite facing stiff defense by WPU, the Cougars were able to fire off a potential game-winning three-pointer, but the shot did not drop as time expired.

Edwards led the team with 24 points and nine rebounds, while Cruesoe had 18 points, five rebounds, and six assists.

James Pennington (Sr., Chicago, Ill., Sports Management) added in 11 points and five rebounds, while Eddie Daley (Grad., DeWitt, Mich., Master’s of Organizational Leadership) had a huge night on the boards with 16 rebounds–nine on the offensive end–in addition to 10 points.

Daniel Autrey (Jr., Detroit, Mich., Business Management) supplied a boost off the bench with 11 points, including knocking down three long balls.  Muneer Newton (Fr., Philadelphia, Pa., Business Management) nearly matched Daley with a double-double, finishing with nine points with 10 rebounds, while Rosenber and Brian Rios (Jr., El Paso, Texas, Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management) each managed to contribute five points.

“We weren’t great tonight, but we were good enough to win,” said Head Coach John Henry.  “Malik Edwards had a legendary putback tonight.”

Next Up: WPU will travel to Mount Pleasant next Tuesday to face Iowa Wesleyan in non-conference play at 7 p.m.

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