FINAL SCORE: Apprentice School 72, Rochester College 63
RECORDS: Apprentice School 16-9, Rochester College 24-7
SEEDINGS: Apprentice School #7, Rochester College #2
EVENT: USCAA Men's Division I Championships
LOCATION: Uniontown, PA
IN BRIEF: The Apprentice School men used a 17-3 run over a six minute span of the second half to seize control and knock off the defending U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association National Champions Rochester College 72-63 on Wednesday night.
ON THE COURT: The Builders trailed for most of the first half after holding a brief 9-8 lead following a Darrell Fenton jumper at the 13:45 mark. Rochester took command of the half on the strength of a 13-4 run over the ensuing 4:40 to lead 21-13 on a Stavros Schizas 3-pointer with 9:05 left.
Apprentice School used a pair of Johnnie Ferebee free throws and a jumper from Jamal Curry to trim the margin to 21-17 with 6:09 left, but the Warriors scored nine of the next 11 points to push the margin to 30-19 on an AJ Burton 3-pointer at the 2:49 mark.
On the strength of an 8-0 run to close the half, Apprentice School trimmed the margin to 30-27 on a steal and layup from Ferebee with 25 seconds left in the half. That run continued into the second half as the Builders tied the game for the first time on a Lance Darden 3-pointer with 18:31 remaining for a 32-all score.
In the second half, the Builders took their first lead at 45-42 on another Darden 3-pointer with 12 minutes exactly left. The teams traded buckets over the next two minutes as a Schizas jumper gave Rochester a 49-47 lead with 10 minutes left. Apprentice School then went on a 17-3 run over the next 6:21 to take over the game leading 64-52 on pair of Ferebee free throws with 3:39 left.
Down the stretch, the Warriors cut the lead to 66-60 with 70 seconds left on a jumper from Kourea Hayes, though the Builders kept them at arms length from there hitting four-of-six from the line to take the win.
BEHIND THE BOXSCORE
- Ferebee topped the Builders in many categories with 20 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals in 33 minutes. He was 7-for-9 from the floor (77.8%) which broke the post-season single-game field goal percentage mark for the Builders which was held by Eric Joe who hit 71.4% (10-14) against Oakwood in 2008.
- Darden scored 14 points as he was 4-for-6 from 3-point range.
- Curry added 10 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots for the Builders.
- Apprentice School hit 16-of-29 from the floor (55.2%) in the second half to finish at 25-of-58 (43.1%). They out-rebounded Rochester 40-37 and held them to only six offensive rebounds.
- Schizas was the leading scorer in the game for Rochester with 23 points and 14 rebounds.
The Builders return to action on Thursday night for a 10pm start in the USCAA Men's Division I National Semifinals when they'll face the sixth-seeded Tennessee Temple Crusaders. The Crusaders knocked off third-seeded Victory University (TN) 73-70 in overtime prior to the Builders win over Rochester. This will be the first-ever meeting between the schools.