Wade Steinlage, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications
OSKALOOSA — William Penn returned to its court inside the Penn Gymnasium for the commencement of the 2019-2020 season on Sunday.
The No. 4-ranked Statesmen (1-0) cruised past the Saints of Presentation College (0-2) by a score of 140-53, their third-largest margin of victory in school history.
The win was the fourth straight opening day win for the navy and gold.
WPU dominated the shooting column as well as the rebounding battle, outshooting its opponents .688-.269 while grabbing 52 rebounds compared to just 29 for the Saints.
The three-ball was going William Penn’s way early as Karmari Newman (Jr., Detroit, Mich.) nailed three of four attempts during an opening 19-0 run. Following the Saints first bucket of the day, the home team followed up its 19-0 run with another one to open up a 38-2 lead. The Statesmen didn’t stop there as they went into halftime with a 71-26 lead.
The second half was more of the same for William Penn as they led by as many as 88 before putting the finishing touches on the victory.
It was a group effort all the way around as every player that played for the Statesmen registered a bucket. Eight players reached double-digits in the win, led by Newman who finished with 20 on 7-11 shooting including 6-10 from beyond the arc. Dexter Hood (Sr., Tuscaloosa, Ala.) had a nice first outing in the navy and gold producing 18 points on a perfect 8-8 on the field.
DJ Bonds (So., Jackson, Tenn.) and Josh Watkins (Jr., Chicago, Ill.) each tallied 15 points, , Q Cager (Jr., Hopkinsville, Ky.) tallied 13 and Eddie Daley (Jr., DeWitt, Mich., Sports Management) collected 11 points. Nathan Gehring (Jr., Waukee, Iowa) and Brandon Faison (Jr., Charlotte, N.C.) each finished with 10 to round out the double-digit scorers.
Ahmad Pender (Jr., Chicago, Ill., Exercise Science) narrowly missed a double-double finishing with nine points and eight rebounds. His eight boards were a team high. Daley, Watkins, and Gehring all collected six boards as well.
Chanze Cruesoe (Fr., St. Louis, Mo.) led the team with 10 assists while Faison had eight helpers to go along with his point total.
The Statesmen forced 25 turnovers, while committing just 11 mistakes, and also hit 16 three-pointers (16-29).
“This team shares the ball well.” Coach John Henry said, “Anytime you have 36 assists you will win. It was good to have all 13 players score today too.”
Next Up: William Penn travels to Lansing, Mich. next Saturday to face Great Lakes Christian in non-conference action at 4 p.m.