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Crimson Hawks Bounce Back with Win at West Chester
Box Score

WEST CHESTER, PA – Mathis Keita (Thionville, France/Insep) netted a game-high 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the IUP men's basketball team downed West Chester 71-52 in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) crossover action Sunday.

Coming off the heels of their first loss of the season yesterday afternoon at Cheyney, the Crimson Hawks looked sharp from the opening tip Sunday, racing out to a 10-2 lead in the game's opening moments. Keita broke the seal on the contest with a pair of triples, and was 3-of-6 from behind the arc on the afternoon.

The Golden Rams would punch back midway through the first half thanks to Harley Williamson and Corey Blake, but a Scooter Renkin (Midlothian, VA/Blue Ridge) three and layup from Keita gave IUP a 19-14 lead with 8:13 to play in the period.

The Crimson Hawks would extend their lead to as much as seven on three separate occasions late in the half, but a Williamson free throw would trim the IUP advantage to six at the break. Keita deposited 10 points in the first stanza, while Anthony Wells (Cleveland, OH/Shaker Heights) and Devante Chance (Philadelphia/Electrical & Technology Charter) tallied four points apiece.

West Chester would chip away at the lead early in the second half on a Williamson layup and three by Jaleel Mack, but the Crimson Hawks would build up a double-digit lead with 12:54 to play in the game when Keita sliced into the lane for an easy deuce.

The Golden Rams kept within striking distance for much of the half, but Keita and the Crimson Hawks would prove to be too much to handle, ripping off a 13-2 run to build up a 63-44 lead with just 4:43 to play.

IUP received contributions from four different Crimson Hawks during the run, including four points from both Renkin and Marcel Souberbielle (Montevideo, Uruguay/Uruguayan American School). Both players reached double-figures on the afternoon, notching 10 and 11 points, respectively.

The Golden Rams would attempt to stage a late comeback, trimming the deficit to 15 with just over two minutes to play, but Keita would not let his strong performance be spoiled, drilling his third three in the game's closing seconds to salt away the blowout win.

Keita was 8-of-15 from the field for his 22, while Renkin was 4-of-7 from the floor for his 10 points. Ayebo chipped in eight points on 3-of-4 shooting, while Wells had an all-around solid outing, finishing with six points, five rebounds and four assists.

Blake led the way for West Chester with 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting, while Williamson added nine points and six boards. The IUP defense was solid once again Sunday, limiting the Golden Rams to just 35.0% shooting as a team.

The Crimson Hawks (5-1, 1-1 PSAC) wrap up their three-game road trip next Saturday at Gannon, before returning home on December 18th and 19th against Bloomsburg and Mansfield. Tip off with the Golden Knights is set for 3:00 p.m.

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