Five players scored in double figures as the West Chester University men?s basketball team got back on the winning track Saturday afternoon with a convincing win over PSAC East rival and first-place Mansfield University, 101-88. With the win, the Golden Rams improve to 5-4 in the PSAC East and 15-9 overall. The Mounties fall to 13-10 overall, but remain atop the division at 6-2.
The 101 points set a seasonhigh for total points in a game for the Golden Rams. The score was the Golden Rams? highest since Jan. 6, 2004 (103).
Freshman guard Mark Kurtz led all scorers with 28 points, 17 of them coming in the first half. Kurtz was 4-for-5 from the three-point range, and finished 8-for-12 from the field (66 percent). The team shot 58 percent for the entire game.
The Mounties responded in the early portion of the first half after Kurtz began the scoring on a quick layup from the tip off. The Golden Rams were forced to attempt to break the Mounties? full-court trap early on, which caused two early turnovers. The Golden Rams, though, consistently found ways to expose the trap, en route to a 15-5 run that lasted over four minutes.
Aaron Williams was a force under the boards, contributing 17 points and two blocked shots. All of Williams? points, with the exception of three free throws, came from within the paint.
The Golden Rams had only a slim 49-48 lead at halftime, thanks to a three-pointer from Mountaineers guard Brian Bryant in the waning moments of the first half. The Mounties, despite shooting 65.4 percent from the floor in the first half, were plagued by 16 fouls. The Golden Rams took advantage at the free throw line, making 18 of their 22 shots.
In the second half, Williams scored the Golden Rams? first six points, igniting the Golden Rams? offense. Williams was limited to only 16 minutes after failing out midway through the second half.
The Golden Rams had significant contributions off the bench throughout the game. Chad Becker?s aggressive offensive play resulted in nine points. Freshman guard Shawn Werdt added a three-point basket to give the Golden Rams a 70-62 lead with 12:00 left. Werdt finished with 11 points.
The Mounties got a spark from the brilliant play of guard Jason Benson, who led the team with 24 points. Despite Benson ?s effort, the Mountaineers were unable to possess a lead in the second half. The Golden Rams outscored the Mountaineers 52-40 in the second half.
With 4:20 left in the second half, and with the Golden Rams in a full-court press, Williams stole the ball from the inbounds.
Seconds later, Lenwood Greenwood hoisted a three point shot to expand the Golden Rams? lead to 86-75. Kurtz flew by a Mountaineers defender for a slam dunk with 3:00 to go to make it a 91-79 game, sealing the win for the Golden Rams.
Greenwood finished with 15 points and Azim Jones scored nine points off the bench. MarkGerhart led all players with seven assists.
With the victory on Saturday, the Golden Rams halted the Mountaineers? PSAC season-best six game winning streak. The Golden Rams travel to Kutztown Wednesday night before coming back home next Saturday to host East Stroudsburg.