DOYLESTOWN (PA) – In a game that featured 64 fouls and 83 free throw attempts, Alvernia University built a 17-point, second-half lead then held on at the end for an 85-80 victory over host Delaware Valley College in a non-conference game.
It was the season opener for Alvernia while the Aggies fell to 1-2. They will take on Penn State-Lehigh Valley at Neumann University's Coaches vs Cancer Classic on Saturday before beginning Freedom Conference play next week.
Forty-two of the 64 fouls and 56 of the 83 free throw attempts took place in a wild and long second half. The Crusaders entered the stanza with a 38-31 advantage and scored the first 10 points to go up by 17 with 15:47 remaining. Four different players scored during that stretch.
Alvernia's lead remained in double digits for the next nine minutes until a 13-4 Delaware Valley run made it a 74-70 contest with 4:10 left on the clock. The Crusaders responded with six straight – all from the charity stripe, to hold a 10-point lead with exactly three minutes to go.
The Aggies made one last run at Alvernia as two-time all-Freedom Conference forward Jeremy Beckett scored five straight points began the spurt with five straight points. Brian Parker had a tip-in for the Crusaders, but Delaware Valley scored four in a row from the foul line for an 82-79 contest as the clocked ticked under a minute.
Alvernia missed a layup and Beckett was fouled with 36 seconds to go. He missed the first free throw but hit the second to make it 82-80. The Crusaders' Steve Schneider was sent to the line with 19 ticks remaining and he hit just one of two tries to keep it a one-possession game. After a Delaware Valley timeout, Nick Sullivan was short on his 3-point attempt and Schneider was fouled after the rebound. He calmly hit two foul shots to seal the win for Alvernia.
Alvernia, which shot 35-for-51 from the foul line including 25-for-33 in the second half alone, was led by Kahlil Bennett's 20 points. Lamont Clark finished with 18 points while Parker and Terrance Bridgers hit double digits with 14 and 10 points respectively. Chris Davis handed out nine assists.
Beckett finished the night with 29 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots for the Aggies, who were 26-for-32 in their free throw attempts (17-for-23 in the second half). Daulton Derr added 18 points while Cam Lee had 10 points and four assists.