Wade Steinlage, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications
OSKALOOSA — William Penn returned to its home court to host Lincoln (Ill.) in a final tune-up before it begins conference play.
The No. 4-ranked Statesmen (5-0) dominated the Lynx (3-4) as they led from the 16:44 mark in the first half in route to a 123-98 win.
The navy and gold gained its first double-digit lead of the ballgame at the 12:07 mark after a pair of free-throws courtesy of Ahmad Pender (Jr., Chicago, Ill., Wellness and Recreation). The home squad opened up as much as a 25-point lead in the opening half and went into the locker room leading 58-35.
WPU kept the foot on the gas pedal in the second, starting the half on a 17-7 run capped by a Karmari Newman (Jr., Detroit, Mich.) three-point shot. From there, the lead ballooned to as many as 36 and William Penn never allowed the lead to get under 20.
The Statesmen outshot the Lynx .571-.473 from the field and had the edge from beyond the arc at .424-.410.
Dexter Hood (Sr., Tuscaloosa, Ala.) led the way for William Penn finishing with 23 points on 9-12 shooting and grabbing six boards while Pender had a career night cashing in 21 points on 8-9 shooting. Q Cager (Jr., Hopkinsville, Ky.) 17 points, Newman 15 points, and Nathan Gehring (Jr., Waukee, Iowa) 11 points rounded out scorers to reach double figures.
Several other stuffed the stat sheet as Chanze Cruesoe (Fr., St. Louis, Mo., Business Management) collected seven points, a team-high nine assists, and six boards. Malyk Thomas (Jr., Copperas Cove, Texas, Sports Management) finished with seven points and nine rebounds while Brandon Faison (Jr., Charlotte, N.C.) narrowly missed a double-double with eight points, eight assists and six rebounds.
Gabe Larkin (Fr., Eddyville, Iowa) provided a spark as the game came to a close as he collected six points in about three minutes of play.
The bench was huge for the Statesmen as they outscored their opponents bench 49-19.
“We are very happy with tonight’s effort.” Head Coach John Henry said, “We really shared the ball and rebounded. Ahmad Penderplayed his best game as a Statesmen.”
Next Up: William Penn will begin conference play on Saturday with showdown against #9 Benedictine with tip-off scheduled at 4 p.m. in Oskaloosa.