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LHU Men’s: Bald Eagles fly past Mountaineers

By BILL ALBRIGHT

Express Sports Writer

LOCK HAVEN — Close losses are nothing new to the Lock Haven University men’s basketball team.

Coming off a 77-73 loss to Kutztown the last time out, a game that saw LHU holding the lead with six minutes left before the Golden Bears took control of the game down the stretch.

Returning home to face PSAC rival Mansfield, the Bald Eagles wasted no time making sure that was going to happen Wednesday night at Thomas Field House as they romped over the Mountaineers by the final of 79-59.

“After the IUP game, we talked as a team and had a very open meeting about things we have to get better at,” said LHU head coach Mike Nestor. “I thought we did an OK job at Kutztown, but we didn’t have the game plan. The guys came out and didn’t listen to the scouting report and before you knew it, we were down 13-4. I keep stressing to them to move the ball, move the ball, move the ball and I thought they did a good job of doing that tonight, especially early. It is a lot more fun watching them play that way than it was the past couple games. If we would have had that sharp start earlier, we would have had a couple more wins. Hopefully this will serve as a springboard, but regardless, the next game will be just as tough.”

The Bald Eagles came out of the locker room with a lot of intensity, scoring the first seven points of the game en route to a 17-2 lead five minutes into the game.

Keeping the pedal to the metal, the Bald Eagles, on the strength of 15 points each from Christian Kelly and Matt Cerruti, stretched their lead to 42-20 at the break.

For the game, Kelly finished with a huge double-double (19 points and 13 boards), while Cerruti led all scorers in the game with 24 points, Cerruti narrowly missing a double-double with nine boards.

Eli Washington also hit double figures in the scorebook with a dozen points.

“They draw so much attention that they have to find ways to get the ball to the other guys,” said Nestor. “I get on them first and tell them, so what if you have 24, but do you have any assists. Are you making that extra pass? If you have two guys on you can you stop and drop it off to somebody, and I thought they did a better job of that tonight. I keep telling them they are going to get shots and when it is all said and done, I am going to find one of you two guys. When you get the other guys involved, it makes it a lot more fun because everybody gets excited when they get touches. That is just human nature.”

For Mansfield, Trevor English led the way with 11 points, Eli Alvin and Garrett Cook chipping in with 10 apiece.

Next on the agenda for the Eagles will be Shepherd Saturday in a huge game for the Bald Eagles.

“That will be a huge game for us. Hopefully we can figure some things out because we are almost at full strength,” said Nestor. “By next week I think we will have our full roster in place and that will be fun. It will just take a little bit of time to get everybody acclimated. Shepherd is a good team who plays really hard down there so we have to come ready to go.”

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