Men’s basketball cruises to IRMC tournament championship

Peter Sirianni
Lead Sports Writer

The Crimson Hawks men’s basket­ball team kept its perfect record intact with a pair of victories in the Indiana Regional Medical Center Classic.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which now sports a 6-0 record, defeat­ed Shaw University 74-57 Saturday and the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia 72-59 Sunday to cap the perfect weekend.

IUP was able to get out to a quick lead in the team’s opening matchup against Shaw by scoring the game’s first 15 points. IUP held Shaw scoreless for nearly the first five minutes of the game, before two Curtis Hines free throws cut the lead to 15-2.

Behind 12 points from Marcel Souberbielle (senior, communications media) and 11 points and six rebounds from Jeremy Jeffers (junior, journalism) in the first half, IUP lead by as many as 17 points at 30-13. Shaw was able to cut the lead to single digits going into halftime with the score at 34-25.

In the second half, Shaw put up a 9-0 run to get within three to make the score 42-39, but DeVante Chance’s (junior, communications media) 3-pointer start­ed a 12-2 IUP run to keep Shaw at bay.

Shaw got within nine points on separate occasions, but each time the Crimson Hawks had an answer.

Souberbielle finished with a game-high 20 points, and Chance had 16 points and seven assists.

Jeffers added three more second-half points to finish with 14 and seven rebounds. Mathis Keita (senior, communications media) had 12 points and seven rebounds while playing all 40 minutes to round out the four Crimson Hawks in double figures.

In Sunday’s matchup against the University of the Sciences, IUP found itself in another close game.

The Crimson Hawks were able play with a lead for most of the game, though the Devils kept the game competitive throughout and trailed by just five points at halftime.

In the second half, a Wes Kerr free throw got the Devils to within two points of the IUP lead, but as they have seemingly done all season, the Crimson Hawks answered back with a game-breaking run.

Keita scored a layup for two of his 14 points to start the run. Chance and Cornell Yarde (freshman, com­puter science) also had baskets in the sequence, which pushed IUP’s lead to 62-48 with just over three minutes remaining in the game.

Kerr made things interesting with 1:23 remaining when his 3-pointer cut IUP’s lead to eight at 64-56, but the Crimson Hawks went 8-10 from the free-throw line down the stretch to secure the victory.

The quartet of Souberbielle, Chance, Jeffers and Keita once again led IUP, as all four scored in double figures to lead a balanced effort. Chance finished with 17 points, while Jeffers and Souberbielle each scored 15. Keita finished with 14 points.

Chance also continued his dominant play from the point guard position, finishing with six rebounds and three assists, both team highs, while adding two steals with fewer than 40 minutes of play.

IUP will face off against Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference foe Seton Hill University Saturday in Greensburg.

The Crimson Hawks will then have 10 days off before playing back-to-back home games against Millersville University and Shippensburg University Dec. 17 and Dec. 18.

A Dec. 21 road matchup with Kutztown University will close out the 2013 portion of the schedule.

All four games are against PSAC opponents.

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