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Any doubt of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team having a letdown after Saturday’s victory over Slippery Rock University was quickly put to rest Wednesday.
The No. 15 Crimson Hawks led the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown 38-35 going into the locker room but exploded for 53 second-half points on their way to a 91-68 victory at the Sports Center in Johnstown.
“I didn’t have a lot to tell them at halftime,” head coach Joe Lombardi said in a postgame interview with 92.5 FM. “I think defensively we were doing a good job. [Ian] Vescovi made some tough shots. Even at the end of the half, they made a great play. They were playing really well on offense.
“Defensively it was just a couple things we needed to keep staying with and giving them a little less space on shooters. Offensively, we scored 38 in the first half, so there weren’t a lot of things broken there.”
The Mountain Cats scored on the first possession of the second half on a layup by Andrew Cressler.
IUP then went on a 9-0 run with baskets by Marcel Souberbielle (senior, communications media), Brandon Norfleet (sophomore, undeclared) and Mathis Keita (senior, communications media) to give the Crimson Hawks a 10-point lead that they would never relinquish.
Free throws and some layups by Pitt-Johnstown snapped IUP’s scoring runs, but in what seemed to be a blink of an eye, the Crimson Hawks went on a game-changing 36-13 run to make the score 74-50.
IUP, with its biggest offensive output of the year, led by as many as 26 points in the second half on their way to the 91-68 win.
Norfleet and Souberbielle led the Crimson Hawks with 25 and 24 points, respectively, while Keita scored the same as his season average with 16.
Devon Cottrell (sophomore, communications media) came off the bench and had 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocks to round out the Crimson Hawks in double-figures.
Point guard DeVante Chance (junior, communications media) scored just five points, but more importantly had six assists with no turnovers. All 12 players saw the court, while all eight regular rotation players scored.
“There were a lot of good efforts out there,” Lombardi said. “I think it started with DeVante [Chance] just running the team and doing what we want to do, being a pillar of calmness and poise and execution. A lot of that goes to him with six assists and no turnovers. You’re going to have a good night when your point guard does that on the offensive end.
“A lot of guys contributed; [Souberbielle] and [Norfleet] had a little bit of a breakout game. [Norfleet] got in the open court, and that’s what he really does well. He’s exceptional in the open court, and unfortunately, we don’t play as much in the open court as he played at Cheyney [University], so he’s got to learn to play in the half court and a system. He’s working on it.”
IUP shot 55.4 percent from the field for the game, compared to 44.9 for UPJ. The Crimson Hawks converted 23-24 free throws.
“They have some soft rims here,” Lombardi said. “I think that had a little bit to do with our free-throw shooting tonight. Our guys just played with confidence. I did something a little bit differently. We gave them off on Monday, too.
“I thought it was mid-point in the conference season, and I’ve been driving them hard since Christmas time. I just thought they needed to breathe and be excited about tonight and be away from the daily grind of it. They responded well to it. They were fresh yesterday. I thought we had great energy today and communication. We’re growing up a little bit and we’re maturing.”
In the first half, Souberbielle surpassed 1,000 points for his career on two free throws just before halftime. The senior from Uruguay is now just the 28th player in IUP history with over 1,000 points.
With 1,014 career points after Wednesday night, Souberbielle is 27th all-time on the IUP scoring list.
“Congratulations to Marcel,” Lombardi said. “Usually when you get 1,000 [points], it shows you’ve been a contributor for four years. He’s helped us win a lot of games going back to Darryl Webb’s senior year.
“He’s got two conference championships and three NCAA tournament berths under his belt with a season left to play out.
“I’m sure he’s proud of getting his 1,000 points, but I think he’s more proud of the legacy of winning, that when he finally leaves, he’ll have left behind.”
IUP improves its record to 17-2 overall and 7-2 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West division. A four-way tie between IUP, Mercyhurst University, Gannon University and Slippery Rock for the division lead has been split to two, as Slippery Rock and Gannon both lost Wednesday.
The Crimson Hawks return to action Saturday against the Clarion University Golden Eagles, who upset Slippery Rock Wednesday.
Tipoff at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex is set for 7:30 p.m.
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” a film where the underdog finds his inner adrenaline junkie, inspired adventure and captured the hearts of people everywhere after its release Dec. 25.
It is based on a short story by James Thurber; Steve Conrad wrote the screenplay; and Ben Stiller, the star of the movie, directed it.
Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) is prone to daydreams – incredible, fantastic daydreams – but until he needs to find a lost negative of a photograph that he is developing for his job at Life magazine, that’s all of the adventure that he experiences.
As his repertoire for excitement grows, his daydreams become less common until he is talking to his co-worker crush Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig) in person instead of through grandiose fancies.
The photo for which Mitty searches countries over is destined to be the cover for the last print issue of Life, and the photographer, Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn), has promised that it will be one to capture the purpose of life itself.
Taking some of his inspiration from the supposed slogan of the magazine and some from his affection for Melhoff, Mitty engages in an artistically and stylistically appealing journey across the globe.
This movie is one of those films that have the audience cheering for the little man: the timid Mitty, played by a much-more-serious-than-usual Stiller.
The mousy hero is countered by the hot-headed Ted Hendricks (Adam Scott) who acts as the director of Life magazine’s online transition.
The soundtrack is filled with modern-day indie ballads with a special salute to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”
From Jack Johnson to Of Monsters and Men, the soundtrack was styled to fit with the film’s spirited pace, appealing to the wanderlust of youth, despite the aging Stiller.
Some may argue that there was not a monumental conflict throughout the movie and that the plot was not dynamic, but in some it will inspire a dynamic shift of attitude.
It is difficult to slap a genre on this movie. Some may call it adventure while others may call it a romance, but either way, it’s one to get people up from their comfy couches and consider a change of “Life”-style.