Wade Steinlage, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications
CANTON, Mo – Last year, men’s basketball put up a win against Culver-Stockton in Canton, but the Wildcats caught fire from deep late in the second half to give the Statesmen a scare. William Penn would have none of that this year, as they cruised to their third game of triple-digit points, netting a 120-61 victory over CSC. The Statesmen had offense from every player, with Eddie Daley (Sr., DeWitt, Mich., Business Management) having a blazing first half. The team is now 5-0 and 3-0 in Heart of America Athletic Conference play.
Kevion Blaylock (Sr., Houston, Texas, Information Technology) not only nabbed a rebound in the first minute but came down the court to nail a corner three to get the scoring started. But the Wildcats answered a couple possessions later as both sides were flying up and down the hardwood early. Brandon Faison (Sr., Charlotte, N.C., Sports Management) then put in a layup to put the Statesmen up 5-3. Next time WPU entered the offensive end, Blaylock threw down a monster jam, as he out-stepped his man and got to the basket in two steps. CSC made a dunk of their own to cut the lead to two, focring WPU to call their first timeout of the game.
Five minutes in and the game remained close at 10-8. Karmari Newman (Sr., Detroit, Mich., Digital Communication) then let fly from deep to knock down his first triple of the night. The Wildcats responded with a three of their own to tie things up at 13. Josh Watkins (Sr., Chicago, Ill., Sports Management) nailed his first downtown shot to put the navy and gold up 16-13. Daley took over for the next few possessions, as he sunk two free-throws and then pounded home a dunk as part of the 15-8 run for WPU that took the game to the 10-minute mark of the first half.
Daley continued to find running room and the Statesmen were happy to feed him, as he reached eight points to go along with three rebounds. Watkins nailed his third three of the day as the Statesmen just about doubled up the Wildcats 34-18, just shy of nine minutes to go in the first. The only blemish on the board was the foul count for the Statesmen, as they put the home side in the bonus soon after. That allowed CSC to pick up some freebies but Faison got the lead back to 15 with a beautiful spin move as he drove the basket, forcing the home side into another timeout.
The lead grew to 18 as Blaylock made some points in the paint and Newman made his third three of the game. Nathan Gehring (Sr., Waukee, Iowa) got a couple baskets after a slow start in the point department for the center. With four minutes to go, Daley checked back in and put WPU ahead by 20, 51-31, with another score from down low.
The teams exchanged some foul shots as the half expired and the Statesmen took a 55-34 lead to the intermission. It was a monster half for Daley, who had 12 points and seven rebounds in the first frame. Blaylock had nine points and eight boards while Watkins and Newman each had nine points, all from beyond the arc. The team shot 58% from the floor and was 7-14 from deep. They also held a 33-12 rebound advantage.
Culver-Stockton collected the first few points of the second half before Gehring and Q Cager (Sr., Hopkinsville, Ky., Wellness & Recreation) each put in a jumper to reply. Unfortunately, Cager soon fouled out, with just two points and three assists to his name. While they did miss their guard, WPU continued to add slowly and surely to their lead, making it a 25-point advantage on a layup by Blaylock, which gave him 11 points and rebounds.
The margin continued to grow in favor of the navy and gold, reaching just short of 40 with a spot-on lob to Daley, who drove the ball through the hoop. The rest of the lineup continued to push the tempo and score, as six players finished with double-digit points. With eight minutes to go, the Statesmen had almost doubled up the Wildcats again, leading 96-50. They were over 100 two minutes later as the rest of the bench came in to finish out the contest.
Ahmad Pender (Sr., Chicago, Ill, Wellness & Recreation) finally found some room to operate, notching a couple baskets down the stretch, as he had only one basket in the first and second half until then. Daniel Rosenber (Fr., Burnsville, Minn.) popped off a three while Amistad Hackett (Jr., South Fallsburg, N.Y) collected one for himself. The big moment came for Rodrigo Soares (Fr., Dallas, Texas, Sports Management), who put up a layup and a three to open his account for the season. His three with 11 seconds to go was the final make of the contest, as William Penn left Canton with a 120-61 blowout of the Wildcats.
Only two of the late entries did not score for WPU, as every other player had at least two points. Newman led the team with 18 points, with Daley second on the team with 16. Blaylock had 15 points and 13 boards in another powerful game for the senior. Gehring had 12 points, Faison had 13, and Watkins had 15 (going 5-6 from deep) to round out those who scored over ten in the contest. Chanze Cruesoe (So., St. Louis, Mo., Business Management) had six assists to pace the team.
As a team, William Penn shot 65% for the game and 48% from downtown. They were 13-16 from the stripe and dominated the glass, with 62 rebounds (12 O – 50 D) to Culver-Stockton’s 26 total boards.
Next Up: Next up will be the Yellowjackets of Graceland. The Statesmen will head to Lamoni on November 28 for a 4 p.m. tipoff.