INDIANA, Pa. (Feb. 18) ‚Äì For the sixth time this season, the California University of Pennsylvania men‚Äôs basketball suffered a loss by three points or less, falling 60-58 against rival Indiana University of Pennsylvania at Memorial Fieldhouse on Wednesday in PSAC West action.
With their seventh loss in eight games, the Vulcans fall to 11-12 overall and 4-7 in league play. Meanwhile, the Crimson Hawks improve to 20-4 overall record and 9-2 in league play. IUP is currently ranked second in the latest NCAA Atlantic Region poll.
Junior forward Chris Moore (Ellicott City, Md./Howard/Morgan State (Md.)) led Cal U with a career-high 16 points on 8-of-12 attempts. He also registered a career-best seven blocks and collected a team-high rebounds. The 6-8 junior transfer leads the PSAC with 58 blocks despite playing less than 17 minutes per game.
Senior forward Julian Logan (Kalamazoo, Mich./Loy Norrix/Owens C.C. (Ohio)) added 14 points and eight rebounds, while freshman forward Kelsey Williams (Sandusky, Ohio/Sandusky) finished with 12 points and four rebounds. Sophomore guard Joe Berenato (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) rounded out the Vulcan quartet in double figures, scoring 11 points.
Trailing by seven points with 45 seconds remaining in the game, Cal U worked the deficit down to two points, 59-57, with 13 seconds left. Logan then converted one of two free-throw attempts at the nine second-mark to make it a one-point game before IUP answered with a free-throw. The Vulcans had a chance to tie the game on the game‚Äôs final possession before a last-second shot was unsuccessful.
In a back-and-forth first half, Cal U held a 29-27 lead at halftime. The two teams combined for eight ties and three lead changes in the opening 20 minutes. IUP took control of the game early in the second half, breaking a 31-31 tie with a 13-4 rally to claim a 44-35 with 11:40 remaining. The Vulcans responded by cutting the deficit to three points, 47-44, midway through the half on a jumper by Moore. However, Cal U would trail for the remainder of the contest.
For the game, Cal U shot 41.1 percent (23-of-56) from the floor but struggled from beyond the arc, shooting just 2-of-13 (15.4 percent) from three-point territory. The Vulcans were also unable to take advantage of frequent trips to the free-throw line, making just 10-of-22 attempts (45.5 percent).
In comparison, IUP made 40.0 percent (20-of-50) of its shots and converted 17-of-23 free-throw attempts (73.9 percent).
The Crimson Hawks held a 39-31 advantage on the glass with both teams collecting 13 offensive rebounds. The Vulcans collected 15 assists on 23 field goals, led by six assists from senior guard Kenny Johnson (Beaver Falls, Pa./Beaver Falls/Ferrum (Va.)/CCBC).
Junior forward Gerald Brooks scored a game-high 21 points for IUP, while junior guard Thomas Young added 11 points and a team-high nine rebounds.
Cal U returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 21, with its final road game of the regular season, as the Vulcans travel to face Edinboro University for a 3 p.m. start.