Atchison, Kan.–The William Penn men’s basketball team did a lot of things well in its 81-68 Heart of America Athletic Conference win over Benedictine, but everything paled in comparison to its utter dominance on the glass Saturday.
The sixth-ranked Statesmen (16-2, 9-1 Heart) were incredible rebounders with a 48-22 advantage, including a 19-6 mark on the offensive end. The Ravens (11-5, 5-5 Heart) were able to keep it close by committing five fewer turnovers (12-17), but the rest of the afternoon was in WPU’s collective control.
The navy and gold scored first, but BC replied with six of the next eight points. The visitors took the lead for good at 8-6 on a basket by Steven Roundtree (Sr., Jacksonville, Fla., Physical Education) with 15:15 to go in the first half. Roundtree’s score was part of his 16-point effort and part of a 16-5 run.
Benedictine pulled to within eight twice in the opening stanza, but WPU eventually led 39-27 at halftime. William Penn had little issue keeping the Ravens at bay after intermission as the edge grew to as much as 17 at one point.
Despite being without starting point guard Jessie Pernell (Sr., North Augusta, S.C., Physical Education) (did not make the trip, coaches’ decision), scorers were abundant for the Statesmen as five players surpassed the double-digit plateau; the victors outshot BC 43.3%-42.1%. Jarvis Haywood(Jr., Charlotte, N.C., Business Management) was nearly perfect from the field, going 6-for-8 (3-for-3 3-PT) to match Roundtree’s 16 points.
Antonio Levy (Jr., Chicago, Ill., Physical Education), who also had three trifectas, finished with 14, while Dondre Alexander (Jr., Iowa City, Iowa, Physical Education) and Brady Burford (Sr., Chicago, Ill., Physical Education) added 12 each.
Charles Knowles (Jr., Chicago, Ill., Physical Education) contributed six points to the victory.
Roundtree also corralled 14 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season. Alexander assisted four times, while he and Buford both had two blocks. Three players recorded a pair of thefts each.
The Statesmen were also buoyed by their performances at the line (19-for-23) and the perimeter (10-for-24).
“We rebounded really well and played some serious defense today,” Head Coach John Henry said. “I give credit to our players and to Assistant Coach Blake Sandquist; his defensive game plan and scouting report was spot on.”
Next Up: William Penn returns to Oskaloosa Wednesday to host Graceland in Heart play at 7:30 p.m.
Story provided by Wade Steinlage