NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The College of New Rochelle Men's Basketball team officially took to the court for the first time in program history Saturday afternoon against the hosts of the Penn State Harrisburg Tip-Off tournament. And after holding a 32-30 halftime lead, the Blue Angels looked to spoil the home team's opener. But, a late surge by Penn State Harrisburg gave them the 76-72 win over CNR.
CNR jumped out to an early 9-2 lead and held the lead until 8:32 left in the first frame when PSU Harrisburg took its first lead at 18-17. With just over four minutes to play CNR built its largest lead of the half 29-21 on a pair of free throws by freshmen Gabriel Hernandez (Yonkers, NY). But the Lions would chip away at that lead and tie the game at 30-30 with 1:15 to play. A jumper by freshmen Elijah Harris (Flushing, NY) with 28 ticks left set the first half score.
Again, in the 2nd half, CNR built up an eight point lead, this time at the 16:00 minute mark on a trifecta by freshmen Kobe Telford (Brooklyn, NY) to make it 43-25. CNR pushed its lead into double digits when freshmen Matthew Dean (Marlboro, NJ) hit a three to make it 51-39 with 12:37 to play.
Penn State Harrisburg chipped away at the lead over the next six minutes to make it 58-55 before freshmen Hunter Schenkel (Sayville, NY) hit a three to make it 61-55. But, the Lions got hot from downtown right after that, hitting a pair of threes to tie the game 61-61 with 5:23 to play. After a timeout, CNR built up a four point lead before again watching the hosts chip away and take their first lead 67-65 on a Lamar Thomas three with 3:20 to play.
With 2:12 PSU went up by six 73-67 on a free throw. After a Harris layup and a Schenkel three, CNR was within one 73-72 with Schenkel at the line after being fouled on the three. But, he missed and forced CNR to foul. The Lions made 3-of-4 from the foul line in waning seconds to secure the win.
Harris led CNR with 19, while Schenkel and Dean contributed 18 and 10, respectively. Kahlil Williams led Penn State with a game-high 21.
Stats of the game:
* The two teams combined for 19 three-pointers with Penn State Harrisburg 10-for-28 from behind the line and New Rochelle 9-for-25 from behind the arc.
* The two teams combined for 58 total fouls, with four Blue Angels and one Lion fouling out. Penn State took 13 more foul shots (making 20 of 36) versus CNR's converting 15 of 23.
* The teams were nearly identical in turnovers and rebounds, with PSU out-rebounding CNR 41-40 and making one less turnover 21-20.
CNR will play the loser of the second contest between SUNY Oswego and The College of New Jersey tomorrow.