Blue Knights fall to California (Pa.)

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CALIFORNIA, Pa. – The Urbana University men’s basketball team’s struggles continued in a disappointing 83-65 loss to California (Pa.) Saturday night at Hamer Hall.

UU (1-8) led the opening 16 seconds of the game 2-0, and the teams played to a 6-6 tie early on. But UU’s leading scorer Jahmere Howze (20.6 PPG) left the floor at the first media timeout after picking up his second foul, and the Vulcans immediately jumped ahead on a quick 7-0 run and never looked back.

The Blue Knights entered the game averaging 86.5 points, but a combination of poor shooting and defensive pressure from the Vulcans limited UU to its lowest scoring output of the season.

Howze still led the Blue Knights with 12 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Freshman Austin Adams added 11 points, eight rebounds and two assists, while senior Mike Newton also chipped in with 11 points.

UU started off cold from the floor, making only four of its first 18 shot attempts, and finished 39.3 percent overall from the floor. The lackluster shooting effort included a season-low three made 3-pointers.

Despite the lack of scoring, the Blue Knights were within six points (27-21) with under four minutes left until halftime – until the Vulcans used another late spurt to go up 37-25 at the break.

UU turned the ball over a season-high 19 times, which translated to 22 points for the home team. Cal also outscored the UU bench 12-2 in the first frame.

UU’s shooting woes continued over to the second half, and the Vulcans deflated any hope left for the Blue Knights by going on a 12-2 run out of the locker room.

Cal had five players in double digits, led by Richard Smith’s 20 points, as the Vulcans’ lead swelled to as many as 29 points late in the game.

UU out-rebounded Cal 34-30, including 16 offensive boards, but the Blue and Grey could only muster 10 second-chance points.

UU will take an extended break over the holidays and return to action on Monday, Jan. 4 for a league game at Glenville State.

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