Occidental's First-Half Threes Key 74-63 Win Over Presidents
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Occidental (Calif.) snapped a five-game losing streak after recording a 74-63 men's basketball victory over Washington & Jefferson on Friday night in both teams' second game at the Las Vegas Hoopla at the Centennial Hills Center.
The Tigers (3-6) jumped out to a 46-32 halftime lead after making 12-of-23 three-point shots in the opening 20 minutes. W&J led on three different occasions in the early going, but Occidental changed momentum with a 32-12 run over a span of nine minutes to open a 38-20 advantage. The Tigers canned eight three-pointers during the spurt, including five-straight during a two-minute stretch.
Senior guard Zach Bellhy's (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) basket seven minutes into the second half narrowed the Presidents' gap to nine points (52-43); however, Ryan Chong's triple just over two minutes later capped a 9-2 run which pushed the Occidental lead back to 16 (61-45).
Occidental made 14-of-36 three-pointers in the win, including 6-of-12 long distance shooting from Chong. He finished with 18 points, four rebounds and two steals. Conrad Liebowitz notched a 14-point, 12-rebound double-double for the Tigers, who held a 39-33 rebounding edge and shot 43 percent overall (27-of-63).
Bellhy paced the Presidents with 21 points, three steals, two assists and two blocks. Senior forward Ben Cecchini (Jamestown, N.Y./Jamestown) had 11 points, a game-high 14 rebounds and three assists, while sophomore guard Mike Resnik (White Oak, Pa./McKeesport) notched 12 points, four rebounds and two assists. W&J shot 44 percent (25-of-57), but only made 1-of-8 three-point attempts.
The Presidents (3-9) have 10 days off before returning to conference play on Jan. 2 in the first game of a PAC doubleheader with Waynesburg (6:00 pm) at the Henry Memorial Center.