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January 14, 2010

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CHC men are latest to conquer Holy Family

CHC’s Ryan Cook (#12), a 6’2” guard, has a clear view over Ben Badeen of Holy Family University (right).

Entering last Thursday’s conference game with an overall record of 4-7, the Chestnut Hill College men’s basketball team encountered a squad that is truly struggling.

The Griffins took advantage of the situation, climbing one game closer to the .500 mark with a 79-62 victory over their hapless hosts at Holy Family University. CHC picked up its first win in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (where the Griffins are now 1-2), while the Tigers saw their record sink to 0-4 in the CACC and 0-12 overall.

Two of CHC’s younger guards, sophomore Ryan Cook and freshman Mark DiRugeris, put in 12 and 10 points, respectively in the first 20 minutes as the visitors assumed a 35-22 halftime lead. Cook would finish with 22 points and four assists and DiRugeris wound up with 12 points, while Larz Jeter came on to score all of his 15 points in the second period, and grabbed seven rebounds, to boot. The Griffins also got eight points and a game-high 13 rebounds from Dan Comas, as well as seven points from Julian McFadden and six points and six assists from Francis Ashe.

Earlier this season McFadden, a senior guard out of Chestnut Hill Academy, became the third player in Chestnut Hill College history to score 1000 career points. He hit the magic mark in the Griffins’ fourth game of the season, a victory over Mercyhurst College in which the CHA alum scored 14 points.

In last Thursday’s road game, just two players provided 37 of Holy Family’s 62 total points; center Justin Swidowski (25 points, eight rebounds, four blocks) and guard Khiri Hankins (12 points, six assists).

The Tigers are coached by Germantown Friends School alum (and former GFS coach) Alfred Johnson, whose staff includes Tim Perry, a Temple University star who later played for the 76er’s. However, no coach can accompany his charges into the classroom, and academics woes removed four players from the HFU roster, which now lists just eight athletes.

While not in this dire condition, the Griffins were not at full strength, either. Forward Trenton Davidheiser is still suffering from an early-season ankle problem, and recently a fellow junior, guard Brandon Williams, joined him on the injured list.

Over the first eight minutes or so, the jump-shooting of DeRugeris and Cook enabled the Griffins to double up the Tigers, at 18-9. The hosts hauled themselves back within half-a-dozen points of the leaders, 20-14, but Chestnut Hill pulled away again to lead by 13 at the break, 35-22.

The second frame began with a lay-up by Hankins and a three-pointer by point guard Ben Badeen that reduced the Tigers’ deficit to eight points. There’s no missing Badeen on the court; the feisty sophomore may well be the smallest player in the collegiate game today. Team administrators list him on the roster at 5-4 and will admit to 5-1, but even that may be stretching the truth.

CHC soon had the lead back in double figures. Jeter began to make his move on the stat sheet and Cook went six-for-six at the foul line as the Griffins built a 53-31 lead just six minutes into the second half. From there it was pretty much a matter of maintenance for Chestnut Hill. The visitors were up by 20 points when HFU’s Jawara Stephenson hit a buzzer-beater from the three-point line to set the final margin at 17.

 




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