INDIANA, Pa. – Indiana University of Pennsylvania systematically pulled away for a 91-80 non-conference men's basketball victory over visiting Felician University on Saturday afternoon at the Kovalchick Complex. Indiana (6-0) is ranked No. 6 in the most recent version of both recognized in-season national NCAA Division II polls – the NABC (coaches) and D2SIDA (media).
Felician senior guard Zamir Wright (Newark, N.J.) topped all players on the day with 19 points. Wright was 7 for 11 on field-goal attempts. Classmate Jeff Lewis (Sicklerville, N.J.) recorded 12 points and seven rebounds.
IUP was Felician's second nationally-ranked and third regionally-ranked opponent (at the time of the game) out of six starts this season.
IUP placed six scorers in double figures, led by 17 points and four steals from sophomore guard Dave Morris (Erie, Pa.). The Crimson Hawks shot 51 percent from the field while committing only seven turnovers. The Golden Falcons, meanwhile, gave the ball up on 22 occasions, and the hosts converted the miscues into 34 points.
The game began in streaky fashion. The Crimson Hawks tallied the day's first six points (five by Morris), only to see Felician (2-4) score the next eight. After Chucky Humphries' (Aliquippa, Pa.) three-point field goal with 15 minutes, 39 seconds, left in the first half put the hosts ahead, 9-8, IUP never trailed again.
A Josiah Basket (Oak Ridge, N.J.) three pulled the Golden Falcons to within 21-19 with 9:23 to go in the first, but IUP embarked on a 12-1 run over the next four-plus minutes. After a Wright lay-up and free-throw at 0:13, the Crimson Hawks settled for a 43-34 halftime advantage.
A Lewis tip-in made it 45-40 with 18:03 to play. But the visitors never drew closer. IUP scored on its next five possessions – including three transition lay-ups off Golden Falcon turnovers – for a 15-point edge at 16:24. By the 7:41 mark, the hosts were ahead by 20, and created their largest spread, 87-63, with 2:58 remaining.
Freshman Dieker Padrino (Bogota, N.J.) picked up eight points in eight minutes for Felician down the stretch. Senior Marlon Reid (Englewood, N.J.) matched a career high with 10 rebounds, but the Golden Falcons could not leverage a 37-31 rebounding edge. IUP senior Malik Miller (Farrell, Pa.) totaled 16 points and five assists.
Felician begins the season's Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference schedule on Tuesday with a 7:30 p.m. tip against Dominican (N.Y.) College in Orangeburg, N.Y. Dominican is ranked No. 4 in the D-II East Region media poll.