Wade Steinlage, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications
OSKALOOSA — After playing six of its last seven games on the road, William Penn will finally get some home cooking as they will play five of its next six at home which began with Missouri Valley on Friday night.
The Statesmen (21-3, 15-3 Heart) used a couple of big performances from some familiar faces and an early lead to coast to a 91-78 win over Missouri Valley (13-11, 10-9 Heart).
It didn’t take long for the home team to open up a large lead as they led by 10 points, 18-8, at the 12 minute mark of the first half. The lead grew to as many as 15 in the half, 45-30, with 4:10 left until break courtesy of a three-ball from Kevion Blaylock (Jr., Houston, Texas, Information Technology). A shot from long range for the Vikings before the half cut the lead to just eight as the Statesmen led 44-36 at the break.
In the second, William Penn opened up the half with a 9-1 run to increase the lead to 53-37 less than two minutes in. but Missouri Valley went on a run of its own just a few minutes later to cut the deficit to five, 57-52. It was the closest MVC got to the WPU as Karmari Newman (Jr., Detroit, Mich., Digital Communication) drained a three to increase the lead back to double-digits, 66-54, at the 11:47 mark. From there, William Penn coasted to the finish line en route to the win.
Dexter Hood (Sr., Tuscaloosa, Ala.) continued his red-hot scoring stretch, scoring 28 points to lead the squad. He added eight boards as well. Blaylock notched a huge double-double as he posted 18 points and 16 rebounds on 7-13 shooting from the field. It was Blaylock’s fifth double-double of the season. Nathan Gehring (Jr., Waukee, Iowa) and Newman each had 11 points in the win.
Six different Statesmen logged an assist in the game led by Chanze Cruesoe (Fr., St. Louis, Mo., Business Management) with seven.
WPU gained a huge advantage on the boards, outrebounding Missouri Valley 57-34. Aside from Blaylock’s performance, Eddie Daley (Jr., DeWitt, Mich., Business Management) grabbed 12 rebounds, adding to his nine points off the bench.
William Penn outshot the Vikings .471-.371 from the field and .318-.231 from beyond the arc.
The Statesmen return to Penn Gymnasium on Wednesday with a game against Culver-Stockton. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.