Alvernia Withstands Late Push by Mustangs

Alvernia Withstands Late Push by Mustangs

READING, Pa. – Visiting Stevenson University nearly wiped out a 12-point deficit with 4:03 remaining, but fell 68-64 in its men's basketball finale to Alvernia University in a MAC Commonwealth contest at McCloskey Court Tuesday night.

Senior Danzel Wright led Stevenson (11-14, 3-13 MAC Commonwealth) with 19 points and five rebounds.  Junior Keith Moody finished in double figures for the sixth time in the last eight games by scoring 11 points, while junior Johnny Rhodes contributed 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Alvernia (12-12, 7-8 MAC Commonwealth), which kept its postseason hopes alive with the win, placed five players in double figures, led by Kyle Gordon's 18 points and 16 rebounds.

The Golden Wolves took the game's largest lead, 65-53, with 4:03 remaining following a basket by Gordon.  Stevenson's run began on a basket by Wright at the 3:08 mark, then a Wright three with 2:29 left cut Alvernia's lead to seven, 65-58.

Both teams traded a pair of empty possessions, and Stevenson was forced to foul with 51 seconds to go.  Mike Miller made 1-of-2 at the line to put the lead back at eight, and Rhodes made it 66-61 with 29 seconds to go on his three-pointer.  On the other end, Miller missed the front-end of a one-and-one, with freshman Evan Joseph grabbing the rebound.

Moody connected on a three with 13 seconds left to cut Alvernia's lead to two, but with eight seconds left, Keon Taylor sank two free throws for the Golden Wolves to make it a two-possession game.  Wright got two looks at a three that would have cut the lead to one, but both were off the mark.

A 7-0 Mustang run midway through the first half broke a 17-17 tie and put the guests up 24-17 on a layup by freshman Cam Harris at the 6:56 mark.  Alvernia countered with eight straight points to go up one with 4:16 left before halftime, and from there, the lead changed hands five times, with a Wright three to beat the buzzer put Stevenson on top at the break, 33-31.

Stevenson held a pair of three point leads early in the second half before a 6-0 spurt put the Golden Wolves back on top, 41-38.  With the game knotted at 43, Alvernia outscored the Mustangs 12-4 to go up 55-47 with just under eight minutes to go on a pair of Gordon free throws.

Alvernia shot 45% for the game and went 5-16 behind the arc, while the Mustangs shot 40% overall and 9-29 from long range.  The Golden Wolves were 7-11 at the free throw line, while the Mustangs went to the charity stripe just five times, making three.  Alvernia held a 40-37 rebound advantage and the two teams combined for just 16 turnovers, with Stevenson making nine, tied for its fourth-fewest of the season.