Small college basketball: Fast start sends Cal men past Edinboro
The California University men’s team opened its game Saturday against Edinboro with its finest 10 minutes of the season, then fought off a comeback attempt before pulling away down the stretch for an 82-71 victory over the previously undefeated Fighting Scots in a PSAC West Division game at the Convocation Center.
Senior guard Keith Lowe had his third consecutive 20-point performance as he scored a game-high 27 points to lead the Vulcans (2-1, 3-3). Lowe, who made 11 of 18 shots, scored 10 points in the game’s first 10 minutes, when Cal forged a 27-5 lead.
“That was a good team win,” California coach Bill Brown said. “We were able to set the tone defensively early in the game and hold a team that was putting up a lot of points to only one shot.”
After Cal’s big start, which also included six points from point guard Tynell Fortune, Edinboro (2-1, 5-1) chipped away at its deficit and pulled to within 44-33 at halftime after a basket by Jay Fletcher at the buzzer.
The Fighting Scots continued to build momentum early in the second half and cut Cal’s lead to 54-49 with 14:26 remaining. Fortune, who finished with nine points, made a key three-point field goal that pushed the lead back to double figures (61-51). Edinboro made one more push, pulling to within 63-59 with 9:57 remaining. That was as close as Edinboro could get.
Wash & Jeff 92, Thomas More 82: Nate Bellhy had his best game with Washington & Jefferson, scoring a career-high 37 points and leading the Presidents to a 92-82 victory over previously undefeated Thomas More in a PAC game in Crestview Hills, Ky.
Bellhy, a transfer from Seton Hill who missed most of W&J’s last two games because of an injury, made 13 of 19 shots, including a seven-for-eight performance from three-point range. He also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.
Zach Bellhy, Te’s brother, scored 18 points for W&J (2-2, 3-6).
The Presidents shot 76 percent (16-for-21) from the field in the second half.
Geneva 68, Waynesburg 62: Geneva won its first game of the season, defeating visiting Waynesburg 68-62 in a PAC game.
Matt Lorello led Geneva with 16 points. The Golden Tornadoes led 33-22 at halftime. Waynesburg pulled to within four points in the final 30 seconds but could get no closer.
Kenny Klase scored 16 points for Waynesburg (0-4, 2-6). Jacob Fleegle had 15 points and Jason Propst 11.
Thomas More 61, Wash & Jeff 57: Allison Long made two game-clinching free throws with 11 seconds remaining as Thomas More, ranked No. 11 in NCAA Division III, survived an upset bid by Washington & Jefferson and defeated the Presidents 61-57 in a PAC game.
W&J (3-1, 6-2) led by as many as eight points in the first half, but Thomas More (4-0, 8-1) rallied by making 10 three-point field goals.
A basket by Chelsea Apke, who scored 13 points and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds, gave W&J a 53-52 lead with 4:35 remaining. Devin Beasley, who paced Thomas More with 15 points, answered with a basket to put the Saints back in the lead.
Thomas More pushed the lead to five points, but freshman Beka Bellhy, who scored 12 points, made a three-pointer that pulled the Presidents to within 59-57 with one minute left. After a missed three-pointer by Thomas More,&J had a chance to tie, but Apke had a shot fall off the rim and Long made her two key free throws.
Waynesburg 59, Geneva 41: With the help of a 20-3 run in the second half, visiting Waynesburg overcame a double-digit first-half deficit and defeated winless Geneva 59-41 in a PAC game.
Geneva (0-4, 0-8) led by 10 points (23-13) with five minutes left in the first half, but Waynesburg (2-2, 3-5) pulled to within 25-20 at halftime and used the big second-half run to take the lead.
The Yellow Jackets held Geneva to two field goals over the game’s final 14 minutes.
Freshman Gina Rievel came off the bench to make five three-point field goals and score a game-high 17 points for Waynesburg.
Leah Prisuta paced Geneva with 14 points.