Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Vulcans upset No. 11 Bowie State, 92-76

CALIFORNIA (Dec. 8) – Senior guard Joe Berenato (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) scored 17 points off the bench and senior Rashawd Hatten (Clairton, Pa./Clairton) recorded his first career double-double on Wednesday night, as the California University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team claimed a 92-76 victory over No. 11 Bowie State at Hamer Hall.

With the win, the Vulcans improve to 3-1 with all three wins at home. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs fall to 5-1 this season with wins over Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) members IUP and Mansfield. The victory marked the first win for Cal U over a nationally-ranked opponent since a 62-55 upset over then-No. 6 Gannon on Jan. 14, 2009.

Berenato tallied 17 points on five-of-seven shooting from the floor, including four-of-five from beyond the arc. The 6-3 senior also collected a team-high six assists in 22 minutes off the bench.

Hatten finished with 16 points against Bowie State after making five-of-seven from the field and 6-of-10 from the free-throw line. He also registered a career-high 12 rebounds (four offensive) and added two assists and three blocks. Through four games, the 6-7 forward ranks second on the team in scoring at 14.3 points and leads the squad with 6.8 rebounds per game.

Junior forward John Williams (Baltimore, Md./Mervo) added 13 points and eight rebounds (four offensive), while sophomore guard Quentin Harding (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) totaled 11 points, five rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Ryne Niemiec (Brownsville, Pa./Beth-Center) and junior Chad Tipton (Hanover, Pa./South Western) each added nine points against the Bulldogs.

Leading by one point early, Cal U mounted a 10-0 run capped by a traditional three-point play from Berenato to take an 18-7 lead with 12:40 left in the half. The Bulldogs cut the lead to 20-12 before the Vulcans stretched their lead to 17 points, 34-17, on a fastbreak lay-up by junior guard Freddy Appiah (Toronto, Ontario/Ascension of Our Lord) with 4:57 remaining. Bowie State trimmed the deficit to 10 points by scoring seven-straight before Cal U scored the final nine points of the half, highlighted by a trey from Niemiec at the halftime buzzer, 44-25.

Early in the second half, the Vulcans scored six quick points to take a 50-27 lead before the Bulldogs answered with six-straight. Leading 53-35, Cal U mounted a defining 13-2 run over a span of four-plus minutes to take a 66-37 lead with 11:42 left in the game. Bowie State was only able to cut the deficit to 16 points in the closing minute of the game (90-74, 92-76).

For the game, Cal U shot a season-best 55.9 percent (33-of-59) from the field and 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from three-point territory. The Vulcans also shot 69.0 percent (20-of-29), a season high, from the free-throw line. Meanwhile, Bowie State made 37.5 percent (24-of-64) of its shots and 39.3 percent (11-of-28) from beyond the arc.

The Vulcans held a decisive advantage on the inside, out-rebounding the Bulldogs by a 44-28 margin and scoring 42 points from in the paint. Cal U also collected a season-high 19 assists on 33 field goals.

In the loss, senior guard Eric Vann scored a game-high 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting with three three-pointers. Sophomore Byron Westmorland finished with 16 points after shooting just 6-of-22 from the field, while junior Darren Clark added 14 points.

The Vulcans return to action this weekend when they compete in the Salem International Classic on Dec. 10-11. Cal U opens the tournament on Friday, Dec. 10, when it faces Newberry (S.C.) before facing the host Tigers on Saturday, Dec. 11.

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