MANSFIELD, Pa. (Jan. 3) – The California University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team shot a season-best 63.8 percent from the floor and three players scored in double figures on Monday night in a 78-60 victory at Mansfield in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Crossover play.
With the win, the Vulcans improve to 6-2 overall after winning five of their last six games. Meanwhile, the Mountaineers have lost two-straight games to fall to 6-3 this season.
Junior forward Steve Swiech (Greenock, Pa./Elizabeth-Forward) scored a season-high 14 points on six-of-seven shooting and also added five rebounds in his second-straight start. Over the last two games, the Akron transfer is averaging 13.0 points and 5.5 rebounds.
Sophomore guard Quentin Harding (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) and senior forward Rashawd Hatten (Clairton, Pa./Clairton) each finished with 11 points. Hatten also collected five rebounds, two assists and a career-high four blocks against the Mountaineers. Juniors Freddy Appiah (Toronto, Ontario/Ascension of Our Lord) and Chad Tipton (Hanover, Pa./South Western) both added nine points in the win.
After a tight start to the game, the Vulcans took a commanding 13-point lead, 29-16, with a 14-4 run over a span of three-plus minutes. During the rally, Tipton made a pair of treys between a layup by Hatten and Harding capped the run on a dunk with 8:28 left before halftime. In the closing minutes of the first half, Cal U stretched its lead to as many as 21 points with a 14-5 run to take a 47-26 lead into the break.
In the second half, the Vulcans expanded their lead to 26 points on three occasions with the last coming on a lay-up by Swiech with 9:12 remaining, 66-40. The Mountaineers were only able to cut the deficit to 17 points in the final minutes of the game.
Cal U shot above 60 percent in both halves, finishing the game making 63.8 percent (30-of-47) of its shots. The Vulcans also shot 50.0 percent (6-of-12) from beyond the arc and 75.0 percent (12-of-16) from the free-throw line. In comparison, Mansfield made 34.4 percent (21-of-61) from the floor with just two three-pointers and 72.7 percent (16-of-22) from the charity stripe.
The Vulcans out-rebounded the Mountaineers by a 34-30 margin despite Mansfield collecting 17 offensive rebounds. Cal U recorded 13 steals after forcing 16 turnovers, which were converted into 23 points.
Junior forward Tony Fannick led Mansfield with 18 points, while fellow forward Yuseff Carr added 14 points and seven rebounds in the loss.