CANTON, Mo. — In a game that the William Penn men’s basketball team led from wire-to-wire, rebounding stood out as the key to victory in a 70-59 win over Heart of America Athletic Conference foe Culver-Stockton.
William Penn (8-2, 4-0 Heart) dominated the boards, racking up an impressive 64 rebounds (28 offensive) to just 36 for Culver-Stockton (5-4, 1-3 Heart). That advantage led to the difference as the visitors outscored the Wildcats 16-1 in second-chance points.
Three of the Statesmen’s starters brought in double-digit boards on the night as Eddie Daley (Grad., DeWitt, Mich., Master’s of Organizational Leadership) led the team with 17, Chanze Cruesoe (Jr., St. Louis, Mo., Business Management) had 13, and James Pennington (Sr., Chicago, Ill., Sports Management) added in 12 more. The tallies were career highs for all three players.
WPU started quick, going on a 12-0 run to jumpstart the night. That lead would hold true throughout the first half as the closest the Wildcats could get was four at 23-19 with 6:41 remaining. Staying in front, William Penn went into the half with a 39-30 lead.
With neither team shooting well in the game, a defensive battle ensued in the second half. The Statesmen again dominated the period, extending their lead to as much as 17 at 64-47. Never giving up the lead made for a pretty anti-climactic ending as WPU cruised to the finish.
As aforementioned, both teams struggled from the field. WPU went 26-for-75 (34.7%), while Culver-Stockton ended up slightly better at 21-for-58 (36.2%). Both sides were below average from the perimeter, shooting under 20% (WPU was at 18.2%).
Scoring was spread out for William Penn as Cruesoe had a squad-best 13, while Muneer Newton (Fr., Philadelphia, Pa., Business Management) added in 12 points with eight rebounds. Malik Edwards (Fr., Drexel Hill, Pa., Business Management) chipped in 11, and Pennington also hit double figures with 10. Daley rounded out the starting five with nine points, one shy of having a double-double.
Jayvin Brown (So., Waldorf, Md., Sports Management) contributed with 12 points off the bench, going 4-for-7 from the field.
“Our rebounding was incredible tonight,” Head Coach John Henry said. “The effort to track down missed shots was as good as I have seen from us in a long time. We also won a tough game in a loud road environment without two key players.”
Up Next: The Statesmen will return to Oskaloosa Saturday to host Central Methodist in Heart action at 4 p.m.